How to talk to a loved one about alcohol

Alcohol consumption is common. In the United States, for example, the 2015 NSDUH reported that over 86% of people aged 18 and over were drinking alcohol at least once in their lives and over 50% of them. last month [1].

Many people can enjoy alcohol without negative physical, psychological or social consequences. In other words, these people can "drink safely". However, others can drink too much, very quickly or too often, and these patterns of alcohol consumption can lead to negative consequences.

It can sometimes be difficult to know with certainty whether a friend's or family member's relationship to alcohol is safe or may be problematic. Even more confusing is knowing how – or even if – talking about alcohol with someone you care about if you're worried about their drink.

If your interest fell under the title of this article, the short answer is yes, you should talk to your loved one. This is an easy answer, because alcohol can be extremely damaging to both physical and psychological health, as well as to careers and relationships. To say that smoothly, alcohol can cause death.

For example, over 88,000 people die each year from alcohol-related causes and is the third leading cause of death that can be avoided, just behind the smoking and living lifestyle [2].

Despite this easy affirmative answer, perhaps not touch easy for those of you who are uncomfortable rejuvenating the drink of a friend or family member. If your aunt or your best friend had an ugly cough, would you ask about it? No problem! It would be normal to express concerns and wonder if they saw their doctor. If your friend or your training secretary walked with a warm or keen grip on your knee, would you ask if they were pains? Of course!

But the debate about alcohol use often feels "different" for those of us who are worried about drinking a loved one. This is because it suffers from mental illness, problematic behavior around alcohol is stigmatized, and talking about it can sometimes cause feelings of guilt and annoyance both to yourself and to the person you care about. As a result, you may feel hesitant to talk.

Please, say something anyway! Regardless of the kind of evidence you need to support your concerns, your feelings of concern and your desire to check on it are enough items to talk to with the person you care about. They are not the important another, not the roommate, not even the other friends in your circle of friends – their beloved oneself.

Here are some ideas on how to talk to someone you love when you think alcohol can be a problem.

1. Call a Spade a Spade

You do not need fancy words, research, or anything but your own experiences to bring your loved one's drinking. With empathy and compassion, you can talk directly to the observations you have made. For example:

Cindy, I just want to get in touch with you, because the last three times I came out, I noticed you had so much to drink that you started spilling your words and had to go home early. Then, the next morning, you told me you missed all the nights. I feel the concern that you drink a lot.

When someone has problems with their drink, they are not objective and will not be able to see their drink clearly. It may feel confrontation, but if you talk with empathy, honesty and clarity can help your friend or family member to put things in perspective.

In addition, it is common for people with alcohol problems to minimize alcohol consumption or the consequences of their consumption. When you can describe your observations in black and white, leave no room for minimization and help the person you are interested in seeing his drink more clearly.

2. Have an idea what to do next

You do not have to solve this problem for your loved one, but if they are open to your comments, they may respond "What should I do?" They may not be ready or willing to make any changes, but if asked the question, they will help you have one or two suggestions on how to learn more. So here are some thoughts:

Encourage your loved one to learn more

It may be useful to find out about the signs and symptoms of alcohol problem drinking, what constitutes heavy or high-risk drinking and when someone should ask for help. You can participate in the process or provide a link to information, but both, encourage them to become informed consumers.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers a free tool to assess the pattern of alcohol consumption, identify signs of an alcohol problem, and answer common questions about alcohol and alcohol problems.

Suggest help

NIAAA offers free alcoholism and describes options for finding help. Your friend or family member should speak with a professional for their drink. They could see their treating physician, but they could also talk to someone who has experience in alcohol and alcohol problems.

Some therapists have specialties, or even specific credentials, in counseling about alcohol and drug abuse. These professionals will offer the most knowledge and often work with people who question their relationship with alcohol.

Suggest to go to see an AA meeting

Free, anonymous and often open to the public, anonymous alcoholic (AA) meetings are widely available in many parts of the world. You can visit to find local meetings, both online and personally, besides the loads of free information and literature on alcohol and alcoholism.

If your beloved person is open to have a meeting, you will want to choose an appointment that is "open", that is open to people who do not necessarily recognize that they have a problem with alcohol. This will make it more accessible to the person you care about, and it will also open to you if you do not recognize that you are having a problem with alcohol.

To find an open meeting, look for appointments in your area, review the initials that appear next to a meeting you want to watch and look for an "O" next to that meeting. This means that the meeting is open to everyone. In addition, there are meetings specifically for women (W), young people (YP), newcomers and other special groups.

3. Repeat as required

Minimization, rationalization and denial are symptoms of addiction disease. If your loved one has a problem with alcohol, figure out he will respond with these three defenses, and do not retreat.

Express your concern whenever you feel it. Alcoholism affects not only individual alcohol consumption, but people around them. Often, people with alcohol problems will feel that they "should not grab on it," or they "feel bad" repeat it. These are also symptoms, sometimes referred to as secondary effects of alcoholism.

If in doubt, remember that the only reason you worry by reading the article and planning to talk to a friend or family member is that you love them! There is no room for feelings of guilt or reluctance. These hesitations are the secondary effects of consuming your loved one and the more evidence you need to talk to them.

If you need more encouragement, go to any of the links provided in this article and educate yourself more. Alcoholism is a disease that is chronic, progressive and deadly. the sooner and most directly you face your concerns about consuming a loved one, the better.

Talking to a friend or family member honestly about their drinks can interfere with alcohol problems that are just developing and limit the extent of the consequences for alcoholic drinking.

bibliographical references

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Management (SAMHSA), 2015. National Drug Use and Health Survey (NSDUH).
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2006-2010. Alcohol and Public Health: The impact of alcohol-related illness, alcohol-related deaths. 1ECA7DA325B9 & F = & D