How do you encourage an alcoholic friend to change?

Jun 15, 2022

It’s heartbreaking to watch a good friend or loved one descend into the abyss of alcohol addiction, but you’re afraid to voice your concerns to them because that could drive them away. Contrary to what you might think, there are several ways you can offer help in a loving and non-judgmental manner. Our readers, many of whom have dealt with substance abuse disorder up close, had the following suggestions.

Paul Schembri

Paul Schembri

Paul Schembri, Owner, and writer of

Invite Them to Seek Help

There is no easy answer when it comes to helping an alcoholic friend to change. However, there are a few things you can do to make the process easier. First, try to understand what they are going through. Alcoholism is a disease that causes people to behave in ways that they wouldn’t normally behave. This means that your friend may not be in control of their actions when they are drunk, and may not even remember what happened the day after.

Secondly, be supportive and understanding. Remember that your friend is going through a difficult time and needs your support. Don’t judge them or criticize them – this will only make things harder for them.

Finally, encourage them to seek treatment. There are many programs available that can help your friend recover from alcoholism.

If you are struggling to help your alcoholic friend, there are many resources available to assist you. Alcoholics Anonymous is a great organization that can provide support and guidance. You can also find more information on the website of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Encouraging an alcoholic friend to seek treatment can be difficult, but it is worth it in the end. With patience and support, you can help your friend get on the road to recovery.

Be Supportive and Understanding, Help Them Find Treatment

Talk to them about their drinking. Let them know that you’re concerned about their health and well-being. In other words, be supportive and understanding. Let your friend know that you care about them and want to help them recover and most importantly, don’t judge or criticize while doing so.

Help them find treatment. Many rehab centers can help alcoholics recover from their addiction. If they are ready to get help, help them find a treatment program that will best meet their needs.

By providing support and resources, you can help them get the care they need and improve their chances for a successful recovery.

Be there for them. Offer your support and encouragement during their recovery process.

If you have an alcoholic friend, it is important to help them avoid alcoholic drinks. You can do this by being supportive and helping them find other ways to cope with their problems. It is also important to avoid enabling your friend by making it easy for them to drink. Instead, try to create a healthy environment where they can get the support they need.

Edith Matos

Edith Matos

Edith Matos, Hotline Director at Drug Helpline.

Evelyn Ott

Evelyn Ott

Evelyn Ott, Tattoo Artist and Content Writer at Soul Canvas Ink.

Find Out Motivation Behind Alcohol Abuse

This is one of the main takeaways from this whole process; you cannot deal with alcoholism without trying to understand what started it in the first place. Pain? Or is it just about having fun?

1. Ask the friend what their motivation is when they go out for a drink. This is the only way you will figure out how to approach the issue; by trying to take away their motivation for drinking.

2. If it is purely an addiction, so in other words the reason they are always drinking is because they have a dependence, you must be ready to offer the resources to curb this addiction. This includes having treatment programs they can afford all lined up.

In other words, you must research alcohol addiction resources in your area specifically, and even offer to drive. You just can’t ask a friend to change and then leave them at that. If they see your dedication to them changing, it will actually dawn on them that it is something serious they need to change.

Be Supportive, Compassionate, and Honest

When one of your friends is grappling with alcohol addiction, you can try various ways to get your buddy to stop drinking. You might tell yourself that there must be various things you can attempt. But the reality is that not even your friend dependent on alcohol can control their urge to drink, try as they may. But you can approach and listen to them with compassion and honesty.

You can assure your friend that you’re worried about their condition and tell them that you want to support them to get rid of such addiction. Never take it personally if the person is in denial and reacts angrily to your endeavors.

Cindy Corpis

Cindy Corpis

Cindy Corpis, CEO of SearchPeopleFree.

Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg, CEO of Tripplo.

Avoid Enabling Behavior

The most important thing to remember is that you should never share a drink with an alcoholic friend. This is inadvertently supporting your friend’s drinking behavior. He’ll believe that there’s nothing wrong with his drinking and that he should continue to do so. When you go out together, I would recommend finding a different alternative to have fun. Instead of supporting his drinking habit, you may go bowling, golfing, or do a variety of other entertaining activities.

Inform Yourself on Addiction and Recovery Options

The most important thing is to remain supportive and non-judgmental. It’s also a good idea to be as informed as possible about addiction and recovery, so you can provide accurate information and resources if your friend asks for them. Addiction is a complex disease that requires treatment from a professional.

Many people who struggle with addiction feel ashamed or embarrassed, so they may be reluctant to seek help. You can play an important role in helping your friend find the courage to get sober by lending your support and offering encouragement.

Sam Cohen

Sam Cohen

Sam Cohen is the CMO of
Girish Krishna

Girish Krishna

Girish Krishna is the founder and chief editor of

Try Indian Meditation

Meditation and self-introspection is a technique that encourages an alcoholic friend to change their habits. There is an Indian ancient meditation technique called “Vipassana.” It is a 10-day program where participants need to stay in a place with no access to an external tempting social environment and they must introspect themselves for their actions. Once they identify cues that lead them to drinking thoughts and habits, they will automatically free themselves from attachment to alcoholic drinks. It might take two sessions to start seeing changes.

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