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Coping with problem drinking - dos and don'ts


Try to understand why people drink and how dependence develops. Talk to a professional like a GP or specialist service like Alcoholics Anonymous if you need to

Look after yourself and your family life – try not to let the other person’s drinking interfere

Get support for yourself

Understand your own way of coping

Take care of yourself 


Make excuses for the problem drinker

Nag, threaten or lecture them

Try to use emotional blackmail to force them to stop drinking

Blame yourself or let them blame you for their drinking

Handle or protect them from the consequences of their drinking – try and make them face these themselves

Lose sight of the person behind the drinking. You can love the person while disliking their behaviour

You might also like to read:

Spotting the signs of problem drinking

Why can't they stop? Understanding dependence

How to talk to a person about their drinking

Tips for talking to a loved one about their drinking

Support services for families

Alcohol and the family

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Where to get help

Find your nearest support group, by selecting your county below