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Living with a drinker

Alcoholism is a destructive force, affecting more than two million UK households. Why? Because it doesn't just affect the drinker, but everyone around them.

Here's what you can do when someone close to you is drinking to excess:

Find out how to help someone with an alcohol addiction. (Produced by Videojug)


  • You can't make someone stop drinking. They have to recognise the problem first, and only then can they decide to face up to it.
  • If you're worried then share your concern with them, and even encourage them to open up about any underlying problems. Make them aware of the problems their drinking is causing to others, and listen to why they feel the need to reach for the bottle. Just choose your moment wisely, preferably when they're sober.
  • Don't attempt to control their habit by hiding bottles or pouring alcohol away, as you could end up with an angry confrontation on your hands.
  • Alcohol can make people behave unpredictably. If there's a risk of violence, take steps to protect yourself.
  • Whatever has caused this person to turn to drink, you are not to blame. Nor should you feel obliged to cover up for their habits or make excuses about it to others.

Updated: 06/06/2011

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