Confronting an Alcoholic: How To Talk About Drinking Problems

how to confront an alcoholic

When someone is grappling with alcohol addiction, they may not realize how their behavior affects others. Giving examples of how their drinking affects you can help them see the bigger picture, which may make them more likely to accept help. For example, you might share that you feel extremely worried when they stay out late drinking and do not keep in touch with you. If the conversation does not go as well as you had hoped, you might need to set boundaries. For instance, a person with an alcohol addiction may become angry and begin engaging in unhealthy behaviors, such as yelling, name-calling or blaming you.

how to confront an alcoholic

If other attempts fail, you may want to consider an intervention. In addition to joining a support group, engaging with individual therapy can go a long way in helping you help your parent. Gently point out how you see the addiction affecting her–the toll it’s taking on her health, finances, or relationships.

The Last Step Is: Participate in Your Loved One’s Treatment

Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. A support group such as Al-Anon Family Groups may also be a helpful source of support when you have someone in your life with a drinking problem. The group can give you a place to get social support and encouragement from others going through a similar situation. Natural consequences may mean that you refuse to spend any time with the person dependent on alcohol. You might slowly begin to accept more and more unacceptable behavior. Before you realize it, you can find yourself in a full-blown abusive relationship.

It won’t help if you become aggressive to a non-responsive alcoholic. Before you begin to formulate a plan for an intervention, you may want to explore rehab centers first. As a part of many treatment programs, they may provide intervention services, and no one does an intervention better than an intervention specialist.

  • Understanding that everyone has the possibility for change and sobriety can help reshape our thinking and communication with our loved ones.
  • There may come a point where the HFA in your life is unwilling to seek help and is continuing to drink alcoholically despite your efforts to offer help.
  • When someone with alcohol dependency promises they will never drink again but a short time later are back to drinking as much as always, it is easy to take the broken promises and lies personally.
  • Afterward, you want to ask them if they have any questions about your findings.
  • By talking to him about your problems, you will be able to get the support you need to overcome these challenges and move on with your life.
  • At the same time, one must not blame oneself for somebody else’s drinking habits.

Learning appropriate ways to handle the conversation can help safeguard your friend. If you have noticed your friend engaging in two or more of these behaviors, they may have a drinking problem and may meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder. It’s important to be careful about your language when confronting someone about their alcohol abuse. Chances are they already feel bad about themselves, and calling them names like “alcoholic” or “addict” will only make them feel worse. Once you’ve prepared for a conversation, there are some things to remember when confronting a person with alcohol addiction. Beyond choosing the right time, it’s important to select a calm, appropriate setting to talk to someone with an alcohol addiction about your concerns.

Educate Yourself On Alcohol Addiction

For example, individuals who begin drinking before they turn 15 are significantly more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder than those who wait until the legal drinking age of 21. Genetics and family history can also lead people to develop an alcohol addiction. Certain genes can make people more vulnerable to addiction, but growing up around parents and other family members who abuse alcohol can also increase the risk of alcohol addiction.

how to confront an alcoholic

Still, it may take a few conversations before they are willing to discuss treatment or their alcohol abuse. You can consult a qualified psychologist or other mental health professional to learn more about this approach. Loved ones and friends of HFAs can also seek support for themselves in order to learn how best to navigate their relationship with the alcoholic in their life, to detach emotionally and to heal.

It now depends on the person’s personality, character, and choices. If you know someone with alcohol use disorder (AUD), it’s natural to be concerned and want to help. While you can’t make the choice for them, there’s a lot you can do to help a loved one who’s living with alcoholism. Avoid Becoming codependent

Don’t get so involved in the process that you find yourself being dragged along the same road the addict is taking. You don’t have to deal with the inner demons or come face-to-face with the hidden flow of emotions the addict throws your way. Connect with the substance abuser on a level where you can retain your sanity and objectivity.

Learn as much as you can about alcoholism

It’s not necessary to confront them because they are just going to deny that they are drunk anyway. If it irritates you, then call a friend and tell them about it. In the UK, between 3% and 5% of the population suffers from a drinking problem at any one time. And in the US, up to thirty-eight million people have an alcohol addiction at some point in their lives. These preparations allow for whatever outcome occurs during the intervention, which can help guide the loved one towards an addiction treatment program and help them obtain sobriety.

Yelling and violence are indicators that the conversation is moving in an unhealthy direction, as both indicate a loss of respect for the other. Once respect is lost, nothing eco sober house boston productive will result from continued conversation and ending the interaction is best (10). You are encouraged to write down what you would like to say to your friend.

  • As a result, the person with a SUD doesn’t deal with the consequences of their actions.
  • It’s never easy to point out a problem to anyone, especially an addiction.
  • While you can’t make the choice for them, there’s a lot you can do to help a loved one who’s living with alcoholism.
  • You can offer to be someone they can call when they’re tempted to drink.

Sometimes it’s good to have concrete evidence so that the person understands the extent of their problem and its repercussions. When you stop enabling, your parent is forced to deal with the consequences of the addiction, and this often leads individuals to realize that they need help overcoming the addiction. Support and therapy can help you identify your own enabling behaviors and work to end them.

Be sure to clarify during the conversation that you understand it can be challenging to stop drinking, but you’re there to support them during their recovery. You can offer to be someone they can call when they’re tempted to drink. You cannot expect someone who struggles with alcohol abuse will make significant changes after a single conversation.

Consider an intervention.

It may therefore be important that you prepare an ultimatum for the possibility that they turn down treatment. This can be things such as no longer offering them financial support or asking them to move out. If you love someone with an AUD, you might unknowingly engage in rescuing, enabling, and caretaking behaviors. You might experience what is known as codependency, which is an unhealthy emotional reliance on your loved one. Talking to other individuals in your position, for example, in a support group, can assist you in developing healthier strategies to protect your boundaries.

It’s important to stay calm, supportive, and non-judgmental throughout any conversation and to remember that acknowledging AUD can be overwhelming and frightening. To begin, it is essential that all members of the family are safe. If the alcoholic spouse has become violent to you or anyone else living in the home, please consider seeking asylum in a friend’s home, with another relative, or a community based transitional living.

A confrontation with an alcoholic can turn into a stressful situation for you too. An alcoholic might blame you for his or her addiction or suggest that you are blowing the case out of proportion. Several websites offer information to people who are trying to cut down or quit alcohol. These websites include organization sites, governmental resources, university libraries, etc.

Encourage your partner to seek professional help for alcohol addiction treatment if necessary

Those that participated in the intervention may be asked to participate in group or family therapy sessions, or help the individual by being part of the necessary support system once they return home. Having the meeting at a neutral location is a good idea, if possible. Conference rooms, community centers, or similar locations are ideal for holding an intervention. Otherwise, the person may feel set-up and reject the intervention.

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