Addiction in the simplest terms is the use or abuse of certain substances that produces a rewarding effect, feelings or pleasure that causes the user or abuser to be fixated on the use of such substances despite adverse consequences to their physical, mental or spiritual wellbeing. The substances which are often abused/used ranges from Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opioid pain killers, illicit drugs such as Cocaine, methamphetamine etc.

What families need to know about Alcohol addiction

God created man to have freedom, authority and control over all he has created including alcohol Hebrews 2:8 says “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him”. Unfortunately when addiction takes over we lose that authority and dominion God envisioned when he created man.

1)  Alcohol addiction like any other addictive disorder causes a kind of dependency that has adverse reaction when that dependency or craving is not met, this causes the individual to take more even though it hurts their body. A tolerance is developed which means more alcohol has to be taken to get the same reward or feeling as before leading to individuals drinking themselves to death.

2) Many alcohol addicts genuinely want to stop their addiction to alcohol, they have been to treatment/rehabilitation centers, therapeutic groups, seen a lot of counselors etc. with little improvement and a lot of relapses. This is frustrating for their loved ones who think they don’t want to get better on purpose but let’s see what the bible has to say Romans 7:19 says  “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do”.

3) You need to go back to the Owner’s Manual

Inventors of devises always include a manual in case there is a problem with the devise, the word of God is our manual for any and every situation.  To the addict God is saying “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28. God created man therefore he alone can permanently take away addiction because it was never in his plan for man to lose his dominion to alcohol or other addictions.

To the family Luke 1:37 “for with God nothing shall be impossible”, your hope in your loved one recovering fully from addiction might have been dashed against the wall several times but God never fails!

How can families help their loved one out of Alcohol Addiction

Acknowledge the problem

Recognize that there is a problem, sometimes families enable their loved one who is addicted to alcohol by pretending that their loved one is in control of their drinking habits and they will overcome it themselves.

Offer support

For change to occur, positive behaviors have to be reinforced such as choosing not to go out with friends when there is a huge chance they might be pressured to drink with their friends. Support your loved through your prayers, prayers changes a lot and can go a long way in separating your loved one from their triggers, it can also change their attitude towards their addiction for the better JAMES 5:16 says “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much”.

Offer to help with treatment

Overcoming alcohol addiction can be a very difficult process but with prayers and help via medically supervised detox and possibly a rehabilitation program (in or outpatient basis) your loved one will get better.

Know that recovery is an ongoing process

Alcohol addiction doesn’t come up suddenly it takes months to years of dependency on alcohol to develop an addiction. Therefore family members of addicts should be patient as it will take a while for the addiction to wear off completely. Many family members get frustrated when they think they are not seeing immediate results, your loved one will not suddenly be rid of addiction after one or two therapy sessions, it takes time but the results will be lasting.

 Be Available

A lot of Alcohol addicts are dependent on their family to pay for treatment, drive them to therapy etc. Addiction robs people of their self-esteem, finances and it can also impair sound decision making ability. Family members should offer support financially, emotionally, and spiritually as this will go a long way in achieving successful treatment of alcohol addiction.

Take care of your mental health

Caring for an alcohol addict especially one who is totally dependent on family members or shows aggressive/destructive behaviors when drunk can be frustrating and often times family members  enter depression and anxiety disorders because of this disruption in their lives. They are often weighted down by treatment cost and the responsibility of managing a dependent adult. You need to be in a sound state of mind to successfully help your loved one out of addiction.

Most importantly trust God on a daily basis to strengthen you and your loved one who is addicted to alcohol through this process. Psalms 46:1 says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.