How To Confront An Alcoholic

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Veering from the plan can quickly derail an intervention, prevent a helpful outcome for your loved one and worsen family tensions. Be prepared to remain calm in the face of your loved one’s accusations, hurt or anger, which is often meant to deflect or derail the conversation. Make sure each team member has the same information about your loved one’s addiction and the intervention so that everyone is on the same page. Hold meetings or conference calls to share updates and agree to present a united team. If your loved one doesn’t accept treatment, each person on the team needs to decide what action he or she will take. For example, you may decide to ask your loved one to move out.


Being compassionate within reasons can help you connect with the alcoholic better. This doesn’t mean you should cover up for them or help them fuel their addiction. Ask them about the stressors that are forcing him or her to seek refuge in frequent drinking. Compassion will open up new doors for you but remember not to take a higher moral ground or make the person feel like a loser.

If identification of optimal therapeutic window hesitant about confronting your family member, there’s an alternative way you can confront them about their drinking problem. A primary care physician would be ideal, but if there’s a specialist they see regularly, that can work as well. Are you concerned about a family member or friend that is an alcoholic and wondering how to confront them? They may be neglecting their relationships and obligations or engaging in risky activities.

Surrounding the alcohol-addicted loved one with people who care for them, who can articulate their affection and concern for their alcohol abuse, while encouraging sobriety can be successful. When they wander into the house isn’t the best idea. You’d be better off confronting the family dog. Plan your approach and timing with professionals or the support of others who have been in a similar situation.

Alcoholism is a medical condition that requires professional treatment. You can provide them support and access to resources that can help them recover. We do not receive any compensation or commission for referrals to other treatment facilities.


If the person is incapable of even being honest with themselves, it may not be reasonable to expect them to be honest with you. You don’t have to create a crisis, but learning detachment will help you allow a crisis—one that may be the only way to create change—to happen. You may still want to help your loved one when they are in the middle of a crisis. However, a crisis is usually the time when you should do nothing. When someone reaches a crisis point, sometimes that’s when they finally admit they have a problem and begin to reach out for help.

Talk to your child about alcohol

Speaking with a therapist or substance abuse counselor gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you may have and provides a professional opinion on the best way to handle the situation. Making a personal connection with an addiction professional can help relieve your concerns and gives you someone to refer your loved one to after the intervention. Ask a trusted addiction professional, doctor or mental health professional about the best treatment approach for your loved one and recommendations about programs. Just because you open up about this issue does not mean the HFA in your life will immediately get help.

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It is important that those chosen to participate in the intervention are able to remain calm and avoid intimidation during the confrontation. Being objective and working to offer support to the loved one during the intervention is the priority. On one hand, the hope is that saying something will provide enlightenment and help the person accept that they need help for their alcohol addiction. Attempting to detox from alcohol on your own can be dangerous depending on the severity of your addiction and your current health. You should speak to your doctor and seek professional help.

Talking to Children About Substances

If these attempts repeatedly fail, it may be necessary to stage an intervention. Talking to your parents about their addiction can be intimidating. Factors like pride, ego, and threats of physical violence can make it hard to broach the subject. Ignoring it could lead to fractured relationships and complicated family problems.

alcoholic parents

In other words, their behavior, rather than your reaction to their behavior, becomes the focus. It is only when they experience their own pain that they will feel a need to change. Often, in trying to “help,” well-meaning loved ones will actually do something that enables someone dependent on alcohol to continue along their destructive paths.

You don’t have control over the behavior of your loved one with the addiction. However, you do have the ability to remove yourself — and any children — from a destructive situation. Consider A Formal Intervention – A formal intervention should be a last resort. If the person is still a high functioning alcoholic in the early stages of addiction, gathering friends and family for a surprise confrontation will only cause anger and resentment.

Know When to Take a Step Back

Recovery takes time, and you may need to be patient with your mom or dad while he or she completes a program and adjusts to being sober. You may also have to adjust to your parent being sober and the changes that will create in the home. To maintain sobriety, your mom or dad should continue to participate in some form of aftercare after leaving a treatment program. Types of aftercare include 12-step meetings, sober living homes and individual or group therapy.

  • This may include, for example, a best friend, adult relatives or a member of your loved one’s faith.
  • Even the most patient, compassionate, and empathetic people need to take care of their own well-being, especially if they’ve taken on a supportive role for someone in recovery.
  • Be honest, but don’t use the intervention as a forum for hostile attacks.
  • Remember that they are struggling with a chronic disease.

It also helps protect you from the toll of having a chronic alcoholic in your life. Alcoholics – especially high functioning alcoholics – use standard alcoholic excuses and denials to justify their addiction and avoid reality. The key to dealing with alcohol dependency in the family is staying focused on the situation as it exists today. It doesn’t reach a certain level and remain there for very long; it continues to get worse until the person with an alcohol problem seeks help. For those who love someone living with an addiction, it is very difficult to sit back and let the crisis play out to its fullest extent.

Alateen groups are available for teenage children of those with alcoholism. In sharing their stories, family members gain a greater understanding of how the disease affects the entire family. People who are involved with some type of regular spiritual practice may find it easier to maintain recovery from alcohol use disorder or other addictions. For many people, gaining greater insight into their spiritual side is a key element in recovery. Alcohol use disorder commonly occurs along with other mental health disorders.

Make sure you speak from a place of compassion. This way, you will not find yourself without anything to say and have more chances of persuading your loved one to undergo treatment. Books on recovery from alcoholism can also help one find the right words to reach the alcohol user. Addiction recovery isn’t about talk, it’s about action.

Before you intervene, keep an eye on their behaviors for a few weeks. This will help you determine if there is a problem and better understand how it affects them. Share your observations with close family and friends, so you can bring attention to the issue and ensure you are not alone in your concerns. Unfortunately, not all interventions are successful. In some cases, your loved one with an addiction may refuse the treatment plan. He or she may erupt in anger or insist that help is not needed or may be resentful and accuse you of betrayal or being a hypocrite.

How to Help Someone with an Alcohol Addiction

Often these kids can grow up to be alcoholics as well. Talking to your parent about their alcoholism can get messy. However, there are things you can do to minimize conflict and get through to your parent. The best thing to do is to let your parent know there is a problem. If you are concerned about your parent’s drinking, this article outlines a few things you can do.

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