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How to Help Someone Stop Drinking

Many people know someone who consumes too much alcohol. This could be a spouse, parent, child, relative, boyfriend, girlfriend or just a friend. If you are worried about this person, you've probably done things already to try to help them stop harming themselves and the relationship. Let's hope your friend or loved one has not been driving under the influence but if they have, make sure they take a DUI course or get help immediately from a community support group such as AA.

Make Sure There is a Problem

It is common for the drinker to be in denial about their problem so they will minimize or discredit your concern. This is why you may need to have done research before you talk with them. In other words, make sure you can identify a pattern of problematic drinking. You may need examples of their behavior such as: falling behind in school or work, going out drinking more frequently, losing jobs or friends, being moody and irritable, or getting in legal trouble. When people drink on a regular basis, it often affects their responsibilities and commitments.

If you've concluded there is a real problem, then consider taking any or all of the following actions:

  • Discuss the Problem with Them and Your Concern
  • Inform Family Members
  • Research the Issue
  • Find Programs, Community Support Groups, Help Centers
  • Come Up with Solutions to Help
  • Ask the Person Directly to Stop Drinking

Intervention — It May Be the Only Way

If you feel as if you've exhausted your options, then you may need to do an "intervention". Intervention re best done with an experienced counselor present and the help of close friends and family. Having loved ones present provides a safe and loving environment. Interventions are not designed to "attack" the addict, but for loved ones to express their concerns and observations in order to break down the wall of denial so the person is willing to get help. During the intervention, often led by the counselor, family members gently share how they have been affected by the alcohol abuse. It is important to have literature regarding rehab facilities, and local hospitals and support groups available to present at the end of the intervention. Ideally, the alcoholic will agree to get help immediately.

Find a Solution

If you truly believe your friend is suffering from a drinking problem, then it's important to help them find a solution. If they are a minor, he or she could benefit from taking a minor in possession course. Let your friend know they are not alone and can get help to overcome their alcohol addiction.

How to Help Someone Stop Drinking