November 6, 2006
How to Encourage a Friend to Stop Drinking
It is hard to tell if a friend is having trouble with drinking. Most of the time people aren’t comfortable walking up to a close friend and asking them for help with such a problem. Many times friends will do everything they can to deny or hide their drinking problem.
However, you should make sure you stay alert to the signs so that you can help your friend even if they don’t ask for it openly.
Many times your friend will be okay to hang around with until they drink too much. Then they start to act different and get into more fights.
Many of the signs associated with over drinking are easy to see while others aren’t. But if you see any signs occurring regularly then this means your friend probably needs help.
While not everyone will have symptoms or consequences from drinking it is clear that things can get worse if they don’t get help. Even to themselves they may not admit that they have a drinking problem.
In the beginning an individual may even feel great when they are drinking which effects their views. However, if the drinking continues then things will soon get worse. Serious psychological problems can develop if an individual doesn’t get help including suicidal depression along with serious physical ailments such as liver and brain damage.
In addition, an individual suffers an impairment in judgment when getting drunk which leads to odd behaviors. Excessive drinking can ruin your friend’s life so you should help them to prevent this from happening.
It is entirely your friend’s decision and responsibility to accept the advice you offer. Intervention can be easier if you approach your friend as a mutual friend and offer safety and support in numbers.
Make sure your friend realizes that an important first step is to talk to someone else about their drinking problem. The only way for your friend to successfully stop drinking is to realize that they have a problem with excessive drinking and agree on their own to make a plan to stop drinking completely.
Throughout the process you should provide your friends with the needed support and understanding so that they can have someone they trust. This will help them freely talk to you about their problem.
Always remember to offer encouragement and support, but don’t force them since forcing will not help your friend and may drive them away from you. If your friend pushes you away then there will be no one around to help them through their drinking problem.
If your friend doesn’t take your advice and you are becoming increasingly worried about them then you should talk to someone in private who has knowledge of excessive drinking. You won’t be disloyal to your friend if you do this.
Rather you will be getting the needed facts to help you take further steps to help your friend. Ask the person you talk with to keep the conversational confidential and then apply your new knowledge to helping your friend overcome their problem.
Professionals are the best people to approach since they can offer the most adequate steps for you to take to help your friend.