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7th June 2024

by maxweb

Min read

How Can I Help Someone With Alcohol Addiction?

Approaching somebody with an alcohol addiction is never easy, whether it is suspected or certain. It is a delicate situation that requires caution. So, how can you get help with addiction for somebody you know, love, or care for? Discover our advice below.

How Do You Know If It’s an Alcohol Addiction?

To understand if it is indeed an alcohol addiction, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse. There are a few things to know. Firstly, there are typically 3 pillars of addictive symptoms.

This includes behavioural symptoms, physical symptoms and psychological symptoms. Although addiction is a personal experience and it can look different depending on the person, these symptoms commonly present as the following:

Common Physical Signs of Alcoholism

  • Presenting withdrawals when alcohol starts to wear off. This can look like shaking, tremors, sweating, appearing agitated and so on.
  • Change in appearance due to neglect.
  • Using alcohol as a coping mechanism.

Common Behavioural Signs of Alcoholism

  • Inability to control feelings and urges to drink.
  • Neglecting self-care and responsibilities.
  • Withdrawing from loved ones.
  • Continuation of drinking even when it is clearly debilitating.

Common Psychological Signs of Alcoholism

  • Cravings for alcohol and difficulty taking their mind off alcohol.
  • Depression and anxiety.
  • Development of psychological disorders.
  • Denial that there is a problem.

If you’re seeing these kinds of behaviours, it is beneficial to understand how to help an alcoholic and begin the process of helping them find treatment.

How to Approach Somebody with Alcohol Addiction

Confronting the fact that help for alcohol addiction may be necessary is never easy, especially when you’re dealing with a loved one. But it’s also hard to watch and see them suffer, slowly becoming a person you just don’t recognise anymore. But if your loved one is clearly struggling and needs help, the best and most productive thing you can do in this situation is help them find the support they need.

All that being said, it is expected that there may be some instances in which they are difficult to approach. If this is the case, we suggest approaching with sympathy, compassion and understanding.

Some things to keep in mind when approaching somebody that you suspect is suffering from alcoholism include:

  • Think about the time and place: Grant them privacy and dignity so they don’t feel attacked.
  • Try not to let your emotions get the best of you: Avoid raising your voice, even if you feel upset and angry.
  • Talk about how you can help and be encouraging: Don’t give them an ultimatum, e.g. it is me or the alcohol.
  • Be patient. It may take more than just one intervention: Don’t expect them to feel ready to give up alcohol after one conversation. It could take weeks or months to see treatment in action.

What Kind of Help Is Available for Those with Alcoholism?

Alcohol addiction is treated best with rehabilitation. Addiction treatment isn’t easy, but with the right treatment plan, it is possible to become sober once again.

So how can you help as somebody looking in from the outside?

The first is to intervene using the aforementioned techniques. Think about how you’re going to approach the situation and do so with caution. If you need to set up an intervention, do so with the right people who are close to them and who understand the situation at hand.

This is going to ensure that the person suffering from the addiction doesn’t feel bombarded with opinions. An intervention is to help ease them into treatment; it helps them feel less in denial about their situation.

Avoid allowing it to escalate into anything more than a conversation. It should be calm and helpful, so think about appointing a mediator to keep it on track, as emotions are bound to be high. Have an end goal. In this instance, it would be getting them into rehab.

Inpatient and Outpatient Alcohol Addiction Support

The options for rehab include outpatient and inpatient treatment.

Outpatient treatment means that those who require treatment can get it alongside their daily life.

This can arguably be a little more difficult for those who have more intense alcohol addictions, as there is the temptation to continue drinking when there is no requirement for total abstinence from alcohol.

The other and arguably more effective option is inpatient addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment allows for total abstinence from alcohol in a rehab centre with a personalised addiction treatment plan. Due to the sheer difference in treatment intensity, it is of course, more likely to see higher recovery rates from an inpatient facility.

Ultimately, there is no ‘correct’ way of recovery. It is subjective to each and every individual and what is suitable for the addiction at hand. It is important to get to know the addiction on a deeper level and then agree on the best course of action.

The Dos and Don’ts of Helping Somebody with Alcohol Addiction

There are some things to keep in mind when helping somebody with an alcohol addiction. As a rule of thumb, keep in mind these dos and don’ts before approaching somebody you know with alcohol addiction.


  • Be kind and empathetic
  • Be honest but not harsh
  • Let them know you’re here to help
  • Come with solutions


  • Don’t Drink around them
  • Don’t give them money for alcohol
  • Don’t be aggressive
  • Don’t tell them what to do, suggest instead

Find Support For Alcohol Addiction Today

It isn’t easy watching loved ones suffer, but there is help available – and we can help you find it. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, so contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

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