How to help an alcoholic in your family

How to help an alcoholic in your family
Author: Tulip Hill Recovery
Published: August 3, 2020

Watching a friend or family member lose themselves to alcohol addiction is difficult. Their use of alcohol may affect their ability to live responsibility and independently, and may put a strain on your relationship. 

You may be wondering if there is anything you can do to help in this situation. There is.

But first, we want to make sure you understand that no one expects you to treat the person you care about. That’s a task for the professionals. The best thing you can do is to help them recognize the issue, take the step to get professional help and support them through their recovery. 

Learn about alcohol addiction

Before approaching your loved one about addiction, you may want to take a moment to learn about alcohol addiction and whether that is truly what they are going through. If they got carried away with drinking too much for one night, they might need to learn a lesson, not professional treatment. However, if they drink habitually or if it gets in the way of their professional and/or personal life, they may be struggling with addiction.

Learn more about the symptoms of alcohol use disorder before starting the conversation.


If you think the person you care about is struggling with addiction, then the first thing you can do to help them is to talk to them about it. It’s a good idea to practice first what you want to say.

Talking with your loved one about addiction can be emotional, and you may end up stumbling through what you want to say or even saying something negative or hurtful. Think about how you see their alcohol use affecting them or how it affects their relationship with you. Think about the symptoms of addiction and how you see them playing out in their life. These are the concerns your loved one may need to hear about.

Use more speech from your perspective when talking to them about their addiction and getting help. Rather than saying, “You have a problem,” which may sound aggressive and accusatory, you could say, “I love you and I am concerned that your drinking is hurting you.”


If you approach your loved one with concern and ask them to listen to you as you tell them what you see and how it’s affecting you, you should be prepared to hear what they have to say as well. This can be hard because someone struggling with addiction can be resistant and in denial. They may even react angrily. It’s important to remember that they are going through a tough ordeal and that their anger is less personally directed toward you and more directed toward the threat of losing what they have been clinging to for relief. 

Listen to what they have to say, let them know you hear them, and try not to argue or talk over them. Your patience and understanding can go a long way in showing them that you support and care for them and have their best interests in mind.


If your loved one admits they have a problem and are ready to seek help, they will need your support. You can offer to help them find a treatment center and remain a source of support for them while they are in treatment and afterward. Your healthy involvement in their recovery can play a significant role in their ability to stay sober and take back control of their lives.

Start the recovery journey at Tulip Hill Recovery

No one can overcome alcohol addiction on their own. They may need the help of professionals who are skilled in treating addiction and can help them manage any co-occurring mental health disorders that often fuel addiction. However, before all of that, they need you.

If someone you love or care about is struggling with alcohol addiction, the best time to help them is now. At Tulip Hill Recovery, we provide treatment for alcohol and substance addiction and manage any co-occurring mental health disorders. We’re here to talk if you have any questions about the process or how to talk to a loved one about getting help. Please contact us online or call us at 877-845-8192 to get in touch with our team and help the person you care about get the treatment they need.

Read more blog posts in this category:
  • Et tortor consequat id porta nibh venenatis cras sed. Molestie nunc non blandit massa enim

  • Et tortor consequat id porta nibh venenatis cras sed. Molestie nunc non blandit massa enim

  • Et tortor consequat id porta nibh venenatis cras sed. Molestie nunc non blandit massa enim

Program Links
About Tulip Hill
Tulip Hill is a family-owned rehabilitation center with first-hand experience in addiction recovery. 

We believe a dual diagnosis approach that treats the mental health conditions underlying addiction is the best route to long-term sobriety.

1800 S Rutherford Blvd #103
Murfreesboro, TN 37130

228 West Baltimore Street
Jackson, TN 38301
All Rights Reserved © 2021 - Tulip Hill Recovery