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How to Help Someone with a Drinking Problem: A Guide
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How to Help Someone with a Drinking Problem: A Guide

Written by Seth Fletcher on February 2, 2015
Medical editor Anchan Kumar
Last update: June 19, 2024

Contrary to popular belief, alcoholism is not a bad habit, but a severe addiction that few people manage to cope with on their own.

Attempting to overcome alcoholism without help can be likened to grappling down without a harness – not holding onto the rope and not falling are nearly impossible. If you don't want to fall, knowing how to get help for drinking problems is an essential and powerful part of deciding to start recovery.

Key Takeaways

  • Alcoholism is an Addiction: It's a serious addiction that often requires professional support, not just willpower alone.
  • Recognizing Symptoms: Drinking too much, hiding drinking habits, needing alcohol to function, and experiencing health or relationship issues are signs of a drinking problem.
  • Health and Social Effects: Alcohol abuse can lead to severe health issues and negatively impact relationships, productivity, and safety.
  • Treatment Options: Effective treatments include rehab, therapy, and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, tailored to individual needs.

Do You Need Help for Drinking Problems?

If you are concerned about the amount you are drinking, there is a high possibility that you are drinking too much. The same is true if you have noticed that your health, well-being, and relationships have changed negatively as your drinking has increased.

Here's a quick and easy test. Go through these questions and find out if you have symptoms of a drinking problem:

  • Drink every day or four or more times a week?
  • Hide from others how much you drink.
  • Have you had difficulty remembering things that happened while you were drinking?
  • Drink to feel better or happier?
  • Drink to feel normal or to fit in?
  • See changes in your appearance, particularly in your skin?
  • Have trembling hands the morning after drinking?
  • Feeling sick and anxious when you stop drinking?
  • Need a drink to start your day?

If you answered yes to more than 5 of the questions above, you have drinking problems. And it's time you consider serious help.

Addressing alcohol issues is vital for each person’s health issues, including liver disease, heart problems, melancholy, and tension. 

Recognizing the symptoms of drinking problems early can prevent these severe results and enhance universal first-rate lifestyles.

Symptoms of ingesting trouble may also consist of frequent intoxication, inability to control alcohol consumption, and neglect of responsibilities. Ignoring these signs can result in worsening addiction and more excessive fitness complications.

Beyond private health, drinking problems also have massive social implications. They can stress relationships, reduce productivity, and contribute to injuries and accidents. Addressing these troubles facilitates the creation of more secure and supportive communities. It additionally reduces the monetary burden associated with healthcare prices and lost productivity.

Seeking assistance for ingesting troubles, whether through expert remedy applications, aid companies, or counselling, is a vital step toward restoration. Early intervention can lead to greater successful results and healthier, more gratifying lifestyles. By addressing alcohol issues head-on, individuals and society can benefit from advanced health, more potent relationships, and better typical well-being.

Where to Get Help for Drinking Problems?

There are different services to suit different needs. Many people just need someone they can open up to, while others may need much deeper intervention. Similarly, groups work for some, whereas others need one-on-one contact to feel safe and supported. Or some of you just go out there and start looking for answers on how to stop drinking once and for all. The type of treatment required will depend on the severity of your drinking, how long you have been drinking, and your circumstances.

If you or someone you understand is struggling with drinking problems, it's critical to realise where to seek assistance. One of the primary steps is to seek advice from a healthcare expert who can provide an initial assessment and advocate appropriate ingesting remedy alternatives. Many hospitals and clinics offer specialised alcoholism remedy applications that consist of medical detoxing and remedies.

Support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are awesome resources for alcohol recovery, providing community aid and a structured 12-step program. Additionally, many communities have nearby health departments that could join you with assets and help for help for alcoholics.

Inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide intensive treatments in a controlled environment, which is best for those wanting comprehensive care. For those requiring extra flexibility, outpatient applications provide treatment and aid while allowing individuals to continue their daily activities.

Counselling for each person and organisation can be beneficial for addressing the mental components of alcohol dependence. Many organisations also offer online sources and hotlines for immediate aid and steering. Seeking assistance from these various sources can increase the probabilities of successful alcohol restoration and lengthy-term sobriety.

Your options include:

  • Going to your family doctor and having a talk, see what they say.
  • Online support like forums and groups that cater to individuals who think they need help
  • Individual counselling with a therapist or counsellor
  • Group therapy/support sessions (like the group settings of AA, aka Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • Inpatient Treatment/rehab centres

I can't stress enough that the above options strictly depend on various factors concerning help for drinking problems. If you have tried quitting and are unable to quit, or you feel like you're chained to alcohol – treatment in rehab centres will do the best for you.

How can you Help Your Loved Ones Suffering from Drinking Problems?

  1. Educate Yourself: Learn about eating troubles and the symptoms of a consuming hassle to understand what your loved one is experiencing.
  2. Choose the Right Time: Find a calm and private moment to speak to your loved one about your issues without distractions.
  3. Express Concern: Speak from a place of care and problem, using "I" statements to avoid sounding accusatory (e.g., "I observed you've been drinking extra currently, and I'm worried about you").
  4. Listen: Allow the one you love to proportion their emotions and reports without interrupting or judging them.
  5. Offer Support: Let them know you're there for them and willing to help in any way you can, whether it's finding remedy alternatives or imparting emotional guidance.
  6. Suggest Professional Help: Encourage them to try to find help from a healthcare professional or an addiction specialist.
  7. Provide Resources: Share records about neighbourhood assist groups, remedy centres, and different assets available for people with drinking issues.
  8. Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries to protect your very own well-being, even when helping the one you love.
  9. Stay Patient: Understand that recovery is a method and can involve setbacks; provide steady aid and encouragement.
  10. Take Care of Yourself: Ensure you are also looking after your personal intellectual and emotional fitness throughout this challenging time, including seeking help if necessary.

Effective Treatments for Drinking Problems

Effective types of drinking treatment encompass a variety of professional and supportive interventions designed to promote alcohol recovery. Seeking professional intellectual health assistance is one of the most useful steps in drinking remedies. Mental health specialists can offer individualised therapy, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), which facilitates individuals to understand and exchange their drinking behaviours.

Support organisations, like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), offer a group-based approach to alcohol recuperation. These agencies offer a safe area for individuals to share their experiences, acquire encouragement, and build a community of assistance. The 12-step application, significant to AA, has been instrumental in assisting countless individuals to gain and preserve sobriety.

Inpatient rehabilitation/treatment centres are another way to effectively treat alcoholism. These programs provide an established environment wherein people can recognize their recuperation solely. Inpatient treatment typically consists of medical supervision, therapy and additional support, providing complete help for alcoholics.

Outpatient rehabilitation packages offer flexibility for folks who can't commit to a residential application. These alcohol recovery  programs allow individuals to maintain their everyday obligations while receiving remedies. Outpatient care regularly includes normal therapy classes, guide companies, and educational workshops.
Here are some key advantages of those treatments:

Individualised Therapy

Helps address underlying issues and broaden coping techniques. In this therapy, the patient can discuss his or her feelings, thoughts, and behaviours in order to address the problems associated with alcoholism. The therapist helps the patient understand the causes of their problems, learn how to cope effectively, and develop positive skills and strategies to overcome their addiction.

Support Groups

Provide community and duty. In addition to Alcoholics Anonymous, there are other self-help groups for families of alcoholics and for teens. These groups focus on supporting loved ones who are also suffering from the effects of alcoholism in the family. They provide valuable emotional support, help participants share experiences and find new ways of coping with addiction. Active participation in such groups can significantly increase the chances of successful recovery.

Inpatient Programs

Offer in-depth, established care with clinical supervision. How is alcoholism treated in a hospital? Doctors perform detoxification therapy: they administer to the patient drugs that help to remove alcohol breakdown products from the body, as well as prescribe vitamins, diuretics, sleeping pills, and sedatives.

The period of treatment is individualised and ranges from 5 to 45 days for alcoholics.

Outpatient Programs

Provide flexibility and ongoing assistance while preserving everyday routines. In essence, an outpatient treatment plan is similar to an inpatient treatment plan. It is developed individually for each patient. In the clinic, before prescribing treatment, specialists prescribe an examination by a narcologist, psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist. Also, depending on the situation, the patient undergoes a number of tests and additional examinations by specialists.
In the process of examination, specialists take into account the severity of psychological dependence and the psycho-emotional and physical condition of the patient. After the diagnosis is completed, based on its data, the patient is selected for an individual outpatient treatment program.

Comprehensive Care

Combines scientific, psychological, and social aid for holistic recovery. Comprehensive treatment of alcohol dependence is a systematic approach to the treatment of patients with alcoholism, which includes three stages, each of which pursues its own goals and objectives.

  • Stage 1 provides for the elimination of the consequences of massive intoxication of the body with alcohol and acute psychopathological disorders caused by the withdrawal of the habitual substance (withdrawal from the hangover).

It should be remembered that the doctor eliminates only physical dependence, i.e. restores the patient's well-being. Conducting procedures for withdrawal from a hangover does not guarantee that it can not happen again. Therefore, the next step on the way to recovery is:

  • Stage 2 – anti-alcohol treatment - suppression of pathological craving for alcohol, as well as correction of biochemical disorders in the body, obtained as a result of long-term toxic effects of alcohol and its breakdown products (symptomatic therapy).

All the variety of methods of treatment of alcohol dependence is united by us in the framework of seven complex therapeutic programs, which have been used in our centre for a long time. In general, their high efficiency is noted, compared to coding methods, which are based on the formation in the brain of a dominant focus of fear of alcohol consumption and, as a consequence, the inclusion of protective reactions of the body to this intervention.

  • Stage 3 – preventive therapy: supportive (correction of psychosomatic state) and counter-relapse treatment (prescription of medications to eliminate "craving" for alcohol).

These measures propose significant help for alcoholics. Overall, addressing ingesting issues with these powerful remedies can notably improve the possibilities of long-term sobriety and decorate the satisfaction of existence for those struggling with alcoholism.


What are the signs that someone needs help for a drinking problem?

Signs include drinking frequently, hiding alcohol consumption, needing alcohol to function, experiencing memory lapses, and noticeable changes in health and behaviour.

Why is early intervention important for alcohol problems?

Early intervention can prevent severe health issues like liver disease and heart problems, reduce social impacts, and improve overall quality of life.

What treatment options are available for drinking problems?

Treatment options include inpatient and outpatient rehab, individual and group therapy, and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

How can I support a loved one with a drinking problem?

Educate yourself, choose the right time to talk, express concern using "I" statements, listen without judging, offer support, suggest professional help, and set boundaries to protect your well-being.

Where can someone seek help for drinking problems?

Family doctors, online support forums, individual counselling, group therapy sessions, and inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation/treatment centres can provide help.

Certified Addiction Counsellor

Seth brings many years of professional experience working the front lines of addiction in both the government and privatized sectors.

Dr. Anchan Kumar studied Family Medication at the College of Manitoba, where she was profoundly committed to conveying optimized healthcare. With a sharp intrigue in mental well-being, Dr. Kumar has effectively contributed to the Queen's Online Psychotherapy Lab, giving online psychotherapy to patients with different mental well-being conditions. Her endeavours centre on upgrading understanding encounters, making strides in the quality of care and progressing well-being results.

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