If you suspect that a loved one suffers from alcohol addiction, it is natural to want to help. However, the thought of addressing the situation with the individual may make you hesitant because it can be hard to gauge how a person will react during such a confrontation. Therefore, approaching a loved one about their addiction should be done delicately with as much knowledge and preparation possible. If you want to help someone with alcohol addiction, keep reading to learn the steps you can take for a more positive outcome.

1. Signs of alcohol addiction

You may have noticed some new, odd behaviors from your loved one that has caused some concern.

Knowing what to look for can help you determine whether or not dependency has developed.

Here are a few red flags that signify alcohol addiction.

  • Hiding alcohol
  • Unusually high alcohol tolerance
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Frequently missing work or social commitments
  • Isolating oneself
  • Irregular behavior
  • Depression
  • Emotional ups and downs that may include sadness, anger, irritability, or unusual cheerfulness.
  • Alcohol consumption is interfering with everyday life and persists, although causing problems.

Suppose your loved one is exhibiting some of these red flags. In that case, you will want to determine whether they deal with alcoholism or participate in regular alcohol consumption. Also, keep in mind some of these new behaviors may signify other issues such as mental illness.

2. Learn about the disorder

Having general knowledge of alcohol addiction can help you understand the disorder and the gravity of the situation.

A few things to know are that certain things increase the risk of addiction, like genetics, age, and mental health. Additionally, alcoholism can occur suddenly after a stressful situation or gradually after years of consumption.

There are three stages of alcoholism; early, middle, and end-stage. 

  • Early-stage- Drinking becomes a daily habit, tolerance increases, the body adapts to frequent consumption, and the brain’s chemistry changes.
  • Middle-stage- The body has become dependent, alcohol cravings occur when sober, and alcohol is necessary to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
  • End-stage- Life-threatening deterioration of vital organs is present, life revolves around alcohol, and constant consumption is required to avoid seizures, hallucinations, and even organ failure.

Here, you can learn more about alcohol’s effects on the body from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

3. Plan how you’re going to approach them

After determining severity, plan how you approach the individual. Consider what you would like to say, when and where you will approach them and who should be present. You should also consider whether a serious talk or an intervention is needed and what outcome you aim for.

4. Executing the confrontation positively.

Your loved one may feel attacked by this confrontation so prepare for excuses, rebuttals, and changes in mood. If these actions occur, remember to be kind and understanding because the individual may become overwhelmed, uncomfortable and embarrassed. Making the person feel safe, heard, and cared about will encourage them to accept help.

If your loved one does agree to receive treatment, a plan should be made. It is vital that you do not dominate the planning, the individual needs to be comfortable with any decisions made, or they might not follow through. There are many recovery options to suggest, such as inpatient centers, AA meetings Wilmington DE, or hospitalization.

Ideally, your conversation or intervention will end with a commitment to seek immediate treatment. The majority of recovering alcoholics find the most success at inpatient treatment centers. These centers provide a safe haven for individuals to wean off of alcohol, receive therapy, have personalized treatment, and be part of a community of other individuals going through similar situations. Here, you can find more information on the inpatient treatment process from Hollywood Hills Recovery.

5. Support their recovery

The most crucial step to helping someone with alcohol addiction is supporting their recovery. You can provide support by; staying in touch throughout their treatment, offering assistance when needed, listening when they need to talk, eliminating alcohol when they are present, and trusting them.

Confronting someone about their addiction can be scary, and although your loved one may not be happy with you at first, they will thank you in the end. Nevertheless, your intentions are meaningful, so stay strong, tread lightly, and support their healing.


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