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What's the best way to help someone with a drinking problem?

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If you are seeing warning signs that someone you care about has an unhealthy relationship with alcohol, it can be very hard to know what to do or where to turn.

Here are some things that may help

Recognise the problem: Spotting the signs of problem drinking

Understand the problem: Why do people drink and why can’t they stop?

Talk: You may not be able to persuade someone to stop drinking, but it can help to keep the lines of communication open. See some tips for talking to a loved one about their drinking

Know where to get help: Support services for families

See some Dos and don’ts for coping with problem drinking

Look after yourself

Trying to support and help a person who is drinking can wear you down. If they are not prepared to change their drinking, sometimes getting help for yourself is all you can do.

Looking after yourself means you’ll be better able to support the person drinking and any children or other family members.

Get advice and help for yourself if someone’s drinking is affecting your life or the way you feel. 

You don’t have to wait until your loved one admits to a problem before getting help for yourself

Read more

Alcohol and the family: Looking after yourself and ways to help children.

Support services for families

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Where to get help

Find your nearest support group, by selecting your county below