How to Tell Someone You’re Worried About Their Drinking

Challenges of Addressing Alcohol Abuse

Due to the prevalence and acceptance of consuming alcohol regularly in our society, you may find yourself thinking about how to tell someone in your circle that they binge drink, and an alcohol treatment program might be a good idea. The next thing that might cross your mind is what to do if you’re worried about alcoholism and drug abuse. Should you talk to them? Should you speak to their loved ones first about treatment programs? Should you stop drinking to try and set what seems like a good example? Then you have to consider what to say when you’re not drinking. Alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are part of alcoholism and are in essence, medical matters of a personal nature.

Although there are standards set by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) for moderate and binge drinking, whether someone is drinking enough to fall into the category of alcohol misuse is still somewhat subjective. How do you tell someone they change their drinking habits? The answer is different for everyone, but very carefully is a good start. When you start to think about how to tell someone you’re concerned about how drinking affects them and whether abuse and addiction are part of the picture, you might wonder how to bring up addiction treatments, too. Remember not to include any statements that sound like you’re telling them they must stop drinking or blaming one of your loved ones for their issues with substance abuse. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at (877) 640-7820 to learn how we can help.

Tips for Talking to a Loved One About Their Drinking 

It’s good to have a plan when worrying about someone’s struggles with alcohol. Here are some tips to use when it comes time for a tough conversation about alcohol abuse and addiction treatments:

  • Be supportive; explain that you didn’t really know how to tell someone they changed their drinking habits, but you wanted to open lines of communication with them about treatment programs.
  • Check their temperature on the subject of alcohol addiction. You never know when to talk to someone about abuse and addiction, but there’s no time to give it a shot like the present. 
  • Use real examples, not hypotheticals. They might push back on vague topics and say they’ve also seen you do some heavy drinking.

If you feel scared about how to tell a friend or loved one you are worried about their substance abuse, then you probably know the person reasonably well. So think about how they like to communicate, is one-on-one good, or would it be better to include another friend or family member? What environment and time of day would be best, and remember not to use, which would involve drinking. It’s good to take action about alcohol abuse treatment and not just to continue to wonder when to talk to someone about their struggles with alcohol, but it’s also good to formulate a plan.

Along with alcohol, here are some other common drugs in the household:

Top Ten Most Commonly Abused Drugs Found In The Home

How Not to Talk to Someone About Their Drinking

When planning and reviewing how to tell someone you are worried about their drinking and alcohol treatment options, there are a few things to avoid. First, do not accuse them of any wrongdoing having to do with them drinking alcohol, and this will most likely make them defensive. Please do not blame them for something bad happening to a friend or family member due to their drinking. You’re there to tell a friend or loved one you’re worried about their drinking, not act like a police officer or lawyer. Keep it calm, keep it simple, and encourage your loved one to consider alcohol abuse treatment, don’t put them down for drinking alcohol.

Staging an Intervention 

If you know someone who does not see how their drinking affects their life and the lives of their loved ones, staging an alcoholism and drug intervention may be the only way to help them see the problem. When you have an expert help you, this may avoid reversing the conversation and saying they see other people and their heavy drinking all the time, too. Again, in a group, as with one-on-one discussions, be to the point and give real examples so they know their drinking did damage, but don’t be accusatory. 

Alcohol Rehab at WhiteSands Treatment

Alcohol rehab treatment programs are available at WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, and each abuse treatment plan is custom-tailored to fit each client’s needs. Residential treatment, outpatient programs, alcohol detox, withdrawal symptoms support, and many other levels of care are available that will encourage your loved ones to take action regarding their alcohol misuse. Give us a call today to find out more about how we can help you or one of your loved ones move past problems with alcohol.

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

Jackie has been involved in the substance abuse and addiction treatment sector for over five years and this is something that she is truly eager about. She has a passion for writing and continuously works to create informative pieces that not only educate and inform the public about the disease of addiction but also provide solutions for those who struggle with drug and alcohol abuse.