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How To Help A loved One With Alcohol Addiction- The Dos and Don’ts | Drink Responsibly
Curbing Alcoholism

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Jan 2018

How To Help A loved One With Alcohol Addiction- The Dos and Don’ts

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Have you ever looked at your loved one, be it your friend or family member or your special someone struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction and felt a sense of helplessness? Seeing your friend or family member go through alcohol addiction can be a highly distressing experience. As much as it unnerves you, the truth is that they are enslaved to alcohol and they need your help.

One must remember that being stuck in this quandary may cause emotional and psychological stir ups, both for you and the person stuck in the agonizing cycle of addiction. And as much as your intentions are grounded in goodwill, you must not forget your own wellbeing.

It is imperative to remember some key points while approaching this precarious situation. We have listed some of the relevant points for you to remember.


– Recognizing the signs of alcohol dependence and behavioral changes are important and timely intervention is vital.

– Get started by reading about it, they say ‘knowledge is power’ for a reason. Gather information about alcohol addiction. Do a thorough research and arm yourself with all the required information that you can gather.

– Talk to them in private. Being concerned alone and remaining quiet isn’t going to be of much help, neither waiting for them to ask for help would aid them. It is important to take initiative and broach on the subject with caution.

– Express your love and offer support. Let them know that you are there to help and are willing to support them in their fight against addiction.

– Encourage and support recovery. Seek medical advice and offer to accompany them to support group meetings.

– Have patience. The road to recovery from alcohol addiction is not a one day event, it is a long process. Your friend or family member will require a ‘strong’ support system through this process.


– Don’t be judgemental ! Understand where they come from, try to learn the possible reasons that lead to addiction. Very often there are underlying emotional causes that compel people to take to alcohol as an escape route.

– Do not accuse or use emotional blackmailing tool. Do not pity them and do not shame them. The person you’re dealing with is already suffering with addiction and guilt tripping or disgracing them is not the most positive thing you can do for them.

– Do not get into arguments when they are under the influence of alcohol. Trying to make them see your point and pressing them to accept their dependency ‘when’ they are drunk is only begging for unnecessary and unpleasant drama in your life. In extreme cases, it can also lead to physical abuse.

– Do not be guilt ridden if you are unable to help them the way you intended to.

– Don’t blame yourself for their addiction.

– Don’t overpass your safety and well being.

It should be noted that you must approach the person and the issue with mindful consideration. Also bear in mind that even though you may harbor good intentions, the person you’re dealing with might get defensive and completely fence off. You can stage an intervention with your intimate group of friends and family members. Maintain a forbearing and respectful attitude towards your loved one because they are in great anguish. Remember you cannot save someone. However, be compassionate and give it your honest shot.

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