How to Convince an Alcoholic to Get Help

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Not everyone who struggles with alcohol addiction realizes that they have an issue. More often than not, it is the people surrounding the individual who recognize the signs of alcohol abuse first.  They will often struggle with the following question: how to convince an alcoholic to get help?

It is important to remember that alcoholism is a disease and treatment is available. Understanding this basic concept is crucial and can provide hope to someone who is trying to figure out how to help someone struggling with alcoholism. There are ways to help people to recognize the effects of alcohol in their lives and the effect it is having on the lives of the people they love. 

Here are some tips on how to make an alcoholic realize they have a problem, and to encourage them to seek help in order to live a more productive life:

1. Lovingly talk about the effect alcohol has on them and the people they care about.

Loving conversation is one simple tactic to use when learning how to help and encourage an alcoholic. They don’t want to feel judged. Attacking someone struggling with addiction can make them feel defensive and push them further away. They need to understand that the motive behind your help comes from a place of genuine care and love for them as a person.

Alcoholics often don’t see the impact of their drinking beyond themselves. Gently initiating a conversation about how it causes the addict’s loved ones to feel and react is a great first step if you’re unsure how to tell someone you’re concerned about their drinking.

2. Help them to understand the risks

It is often easier to recognize the signs of alcohol abuse as an outsider. An alcoholic doesn’t always realize the severity of their addiction and the costs that can be associated with it.  If you’re trying to convince an alcoholic to get help, pointing out the risks that their drinking poses may open their eyes to the severity of the problem.

The use of alcohol in itself is not illegal. However, abusing it can lead to costly ramifications including the following:

  • While under the influence of alcohol, a person has impaired judgment and delayed motor skills. This can lead to driving under the influence, putting the driver and others at great risk of critical danger. In addition to the legal consequences, it ultimately can end with the loss of life. 
  • Alcoholics also miss important commitments and events due to this impaired judgment. 
  • Too much of this irresponsibility can cost someone their job and relationships.
  •  Alcohol abuse can ultimately leave a person alone and penniless. It can truly cost a person everything.

3. Treatment can help their legal case

It is not uncommon for someone dealing with alcoholism to have some legal issues. While this is not necessarily a given, it is also not rare for the two to go hand-in-hand. One way you can help an alcoholic dealing with legal concerns is to encourage them to seek professional treatment as courts will look highly favorable on someone who is attempting to get help. Judges commonly offer reduced sentences and rewards for individuals that are actively enrolled in rehabilitation programs for alcohol abuse. It shows initiative to actively make a change for the better, and that puts them across in a more positive light in the eyes of a judge, or anyone else.

4. Lovingly Discuss Professional Treatment Options

Words are powerful. We already mentioned that reaching out with love is an effective tool when learning how to tell an alcoholic they need help. Passing judgment or showing anger will never help the situation. Those struggling with alcohol addiction need to feel loved, encouraged and supported. 

To help you develop realistic expectations, it’s a good idea to educate yourself on the effects of alcohol. It is not a good idea to encourage an alcoholic to just give it up “cold turkey” [1]. Alcohol withdrawal can result in serious side effects and is best to take place under the supervision of medical professionals, who will provide a controlled environment and medical attention if needed. Confronting the problem is important, but it needs to come with support and love. Offering educational materials and researching options for a specific place to seek treatment shows the individual you truly care and took the time to learn how to best help them with their alcohol addiction.

Summary: How to Encourage an Alcoholic to Seek Help

At Avenues Recovery we can provide you with the resources necessary to learn how to convince an alcoholic to get help. We also have a team of professionals available to answer questions and provide guidance and support to every person seeking help to walk boldly into a better future.

Learn more about alcohol addiction and treatment.

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