It’s really difficult when someone you care about like your partner, parent, child, friend or other loved one is drinking too much. It can feel like they’re two different people: the sober one and the drunk one.
It’s natural that you would want to care for a loved one. But it’s important to remember that it’s a big step for someone else to realise they’re drinking too much and need to cut down their alcohol intake.
Raising the issue of drinking too much
It’s important to choose the right time to talk.
Don’t try discussing the issue if your loved one is drunk as they may get angry or even forget the conversation took place.
Try to be sensitive.
Using words like ‘alcoholic’ or ‘drinking problem’ will only make them defensive and put them on the back foot.
It can take some time and several conversations for someone to commit to changing. Remember that it’s their decision to change and not yours.
Don’t try to act as a counsellor or support.
You can help them start to consider their drinking but the best person for them to talk to is their GP, nurse or a specialist alcohol worker.
Don’t forget yourself
You need to look after yourself. You shouldn’t feel responsible for someone else’s decision to keep drinking. Details about support groups and helplines can be found here.
Tips on helping a loved one
It can be tricky talking about alcohol with someone who may be drinking too much. Here are our tips on how to raise the issue:
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