How to Help an Alcoholic Friend

Written by Chloe Nicosia

How to Help an Alcoholic Friend – Are They Addicted and What Can I Do?

It can be painful to watch a close friend suffer through the deteriorating disease that is alcoholism, especially when you feel absolutely powerless to help them. What’s more concerning is that alcohol, even though it is widely accepted socially, is one of the most dangerous substances to abuse that can lead to a person’s death. How to help an alcoholic friend find the help they need to get better will be discussed in this article.

Look at the Signs

How to help an alcoholic friend should start by confirming your suspicions. Alcohol addiction is a progressive disease that has many signs along the way to full dependence. Before we look at what to say to an alcoholic, we will discuss the common signs of alcoholism, which are as follows:

  • They have tried to stop or slow down before but never manage to.
  • When they set drinking limits, they often fail in keeping them.
  • They crave alcohol.
  • Much of your friend’s time is spent drinking and recovering from the aftereffects.
  • They may fail to do important tasks because of their preoccupation with alcohol.
  • Even though they have relationship problems with their family and friends, it doesn’t stop them from drinking.
  • What they once enjoyed doing no longer holds any importance, such as giving up on their hobbies.
  • Drinking occurs even in risky or dangerous situations.
  • Psychological problems caused by alcohol abuse, such as depression, does not stop further abuse.
  • They have withdrawal symptoms when they try to stop drinking.
  • Your friend requires more alcohol to get the same feeling because of a tolerance.

If your friend has at least two of the following symptoms in 12 months, then it is likely that they have an alcohol addiction.

What to Say to an Alcoholic Friend

How to help an alcoholic friend can be difficult to do, but if you don’t act, there is no guarantee that they will stop – and it may cost them their lives. There are many things that you can do that will improve the outcome of your talk with your friend. They are as follows:

  • The timing – Alcohol can affect the way a person behaves. They may fly off the handle at the slightest provocation when intoxicated, and it is best to avoid these times. If they are sober, they will be more receptive to your persuasion. It may also help to approach them while they are dealing with the after-effects of their alcohol abuse, or after an event such as an arrest.
  • Seek privacy – How to help an alcoholic friend can be about choosing a place where they feel comfortable to talk about their problem, such as in their home.
  • Express your feelings – While you may want to talk about the shortcomings the addict may have, this just puts them on guard. How to help an alcoholic in denial is about reaching them through the expression of your feelings. Explain to them how their abuse has made you feel.
  • Voice your concerns – Ultimately, you are concerned about their well-being. How to help an alcoholic in denial can be about reminding them that you are talking to them about the problem because you are worried about their wellbeing.
  • Give them options – It is important to have options available to your friend when you confront them. While they may be ready to seek help on the day, if this compliance isn’t acted upon immediately, they may change their mind.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/resource-guide-screening-drug-use-in-general-medical-settings/screen-then-intervene-conducting-brief-intervention