When confronting a person about their drinking, be sure to do it in a loving way. Don’t yell and accuse or threaten the person. Tell them that you are concerned about their drinking and that you are afraid that they may have a problem. After you confront the person about their drinking, they may try to control it. If you are still bothered by it, it is important that you do something to help yourself. You do not want to enable them or become obsessed with their drinking. Oftentimes, the alcoholic doesn’t want help. It is important that you get help for you and the rest of the family.
When the time is right, make it clear that you are always there to talk about his problems and possibly find a solution with him. In that conversation, you will have to try to motivate the drinker to change his situation. There are a few important items related to this:
1. Make the drinker feel positive about himself. Many drinkers think very negatively about themselves and find themselves useless. Don’t reproach, but give compliments about the things that do go right and the reasons why you love them and want to support them.
2. Take away the prejudices about treatment, such as the idea that people are always hospitalized, that therapy only consists of talking, or that others will judge him.
3. Give the drinker a perspective. Examples you can use are that he will have more money if he doesn’t drink, that he will have better contact with his family, that he will have better health, a better chance for a job, etc.
4. Listen also to possible problems that make the person keep drinking, but indicate that drinking will not solve these, but only make them worse.
5. If he doesn’t want to be helped or cannot be helped, ask him what needs to happen to convince him to get treatment.
Be ready to help. Collect information on various methods of treatment. If an alcoholic agrees to treatment you will have done the research and be ready to discuss options with him.