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My Boyfriend Is An Alcoholic. What Do I Do?

When you are involved in a romantic relationship and discover your boyfriend is an alcoholic, it can leave you with a lot of questions. Should you try to help your boyfriend? What should you do to help? What if your alcoholic boyfriend doesn’t want help? Learning more about alcohol use disorder (AUD) and what you should and should not do can help you determine if you should remain with your boyfriend or if it is time to end the relationship.

Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder

The first thing you should do is look for these common signs of AUD:

  • Loss of control over drinking: Drinking more than intended or for a longer period than initially planned, being unable to cut down or stop drinking despite wanting to. 
  • Neglecting responsibilities due to drinking: Missing work or school, not fulfilling household duties, neglecting family and friends. 
  • Drinking in risky situations: Drinking and driving, drinking in potentially dangerous environments. 
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms: Anxiety, nausea, sweating, shaking, and insomnia when not drinking. 
  • Developing a tolerance for alcohol: Needing increasingly larger amounts of alcohol to feel the desired effects. 
  • Developing a preoccupation with drinking: Drinking becomes a central focus in life and a person’s thoughts. 
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences: Drinking despite knowing it is causing problems with relationships, work, or health.

If you notice one or more of these signs, you should be concerned.

Can Binge Drinking Lead to AUD?

Binge drinking is when your boyfriend consumes a large number of drinks in a short period to experience the effects of alcohol. People who engage in this kind of drinking pattern are at an increased risk of developing AUD. This is because binge drinking increases the chances of developing physical dependence and tolerance for alcohol. 

Additionally, people who engage in binge drinking are more likely to drink excessively and experience negative consequences related to their drinking that could contribute to the development of AUD.      

Should You Try to Help Your Alcoholic Boyfriend?

It depends on how committed you are to the relationship. If you are in a relationship with someone who has AUD, there are ways you can support them in getting help. These include helping them find treatment options and encouraging them to attend meetings or therapy sessions. Even if they initially resist, continue offering your support and love, as this could make all the difference in their recovery process.   

What Should You Do If You Are Dating an Alcoholic?

Talk to them openly about their drinking and let them know that it bothers you so that they can be aware of how their behavior affects others. Encourage them to seek help from a professional, like an alcohol detox and addiction treatment center, support meetings, or through therapy. Additionally, take care of yourself by setting boundaries with your partner and taking time for self-care.

What Should You Not Do If You Are Dating an Alcoholic?

Do not enable them by providing alcohol or helping them cover up their drinking habits. These behaviors can enable your alcoholic boyfriend and worsen the situation. Also, do not try to control or manipulate your partner into changing their behavior, as this can be damaging and will likely only make the situation worse. 

Finally, avoid becoming overly involved in their recovery process and trying to fix everything for them since they must take responsibility for themselves and accept help to recover from AUD. 

Should I Stage an Intervention?

It may be a good idea to stage an intervention as alcoholism affects everyone around your boyfriend, including family and friends. An intervention is a structured conversation between the person suffering from AUD, family members, and other close friends in which everyone expresses how the individual’s drinking has impacted them negatively. 

It can also provide support for the person to get help from professionals such as addiction counselors or attending alcohol rehab. Staging an intervention can be an effective way of getting someone with AUD on a path toward recovery.

What If My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want Help?

If your boyfriend doesn’t want help for his alcohol use disorder, it can be difficult to know what to do. While you cannot force him into treatment, there are still things you can do to support him in his recovery process. Talk to him about how you feel and express your concern for his health. In addition, let him know that you are available if he ever needs someone to talk to or support in any way. 

Should I End the Relationship?

Whether or not to end a relationship with someone with AUD depends on the individual situation. The most important thing is to ensure that your health and well-being are taken care of first. 

Consider speaking to a therapist or counselor if you need help sorting through your feelings and deciding what is best for you. If you feel like continuing the relationship will put too much strain on your mental health, it may be in your best interest to end things.

Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment in Columbus, OH

Should your boyfriend admit they need help, Ohio Addiction Recovery Center in Columbus, Ohio, can help them take the first steps to sobriety. We offer personalized alcohol detox and treatment programs in a safe, caring, and supportive environment. Contact us today and speak with one of our addiction treatment specialists.

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