How to Deal with an Alcoholic

A Brief Overview on How to Deal with an Alcoholic

If you have noticed that your live-in partner is actually a functioning alcoholic, and not a regular “social drinker” you may be in need of some advice on how to deal with an alcoholic. At White Sands Fort Myers, you will find that we are more than happy to assist you and answer your questions. Perhaps we can help you stage an intervention so that your loved one may enter treatment and get the relief and assistance they so desperately need. Call today at (877) 855-3470.

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease that is characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior despite the detrimental consequences. No one is taught how to deal with an alcoholic at school, so you must get familiar with this topic in order to help the one you love. Living with a functioning alcoholic is not easy.

If you are not sure whether your loved one is, in fact, an alcoholic, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this person become angered when trying to discuss their drinking with them?
  • Are you concerned about the amount or (frequency) that your loved one consumes?
  • When confronted with questions about their consumption of alcohol, do they make excuses or flat-out lie?
  • Have you been forced to call the authorities (or considered doing so) on this person?
  • Have you been in a situation with this person where you feel embarrassed or even hurt by their behavior (when they were intoxicated)?
  • Do you suspect they are experiencing financial distress because of the money they spend on alcohol?
  • Have you noticed that they are having issues at work because of tardiness or some other drinking-related issue?
  • Are you constantly having to pick up the slack for them around the house? Or with the kids?
  • Before you leave for an event, or a night out, do you worry because you know they will embarrass you and/or themselves?

How to Deal with an Alcoholic

Addicts are usually very much in denial. They are unwilling to admit they have a drinking problem and will normally provide excuses – or justifications for their drinking. Those who live with alcoholics tend to be in denial as well. It is sometimes difficult to confront the alcoholic as it may be an awkward situation.

Remove Denial

  • You must come to terms with the fact that your loved one is, in fact, an addict and that it is causing problems.
  • Make sure you understand that their behaviors are destructive.
  • Their addiction is not your fault.
  • Understand that you cannot do anything to stop their behavior.

It is harmful living with an alcoholic. There is an effect on the entire family – not just the addict. Honesty is the best policy here. Living with a functioning alcoholic is difficult, to say the least.

Recognizing and admitting the following things are important:

  • Do not bribe the individual or become overly dramatic and emotional because it may increase the guilt of the addict. Which may lead them to drink more.
  • Let them know how their behavior affects you in an honest way.
  • Admit that their alcoholism is hurting the family.

There are several things that fall into the category “what not to say to an alcoholic.” Here are a couple:

  • “Your drinking was not that bad.” This is so insulting. You cannot know what their personal struggle is like. If this person is telling you that they are an alcoholic – do not make them wonder whether they really need treatment or not. Dangerous words, indeed.
  • “Have you felt like drinking today? How do you feel?” You do not need to ask a myriad of questions. Don’t burden them by asking so many questions and applying an undue amount of pressure. The individual will share as much or as little as they like.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.