How To Talk To Your Loved One About Drinking Too Much

Drinking, just like eating, plays a large part in how many people from around the world get together and socialize. From Asia, to Europe, to South America, getting together with friends and family around some form of alcohol and passing time is a common pass time. But with alcohol playing such a large part of our everyday lives, how do we decide when enough is enough? From our early college years, we are taught to use alcohol as a “social lubricant” in order to talk to the opposite sex, socialize, and party. What do we do when we recognize when its become too much or excessive? Speaking to a friend or loved one about their alcohol consumption can be an uncomfortable and sometimes scary task.

If you are concerned, it’s important to know how to open up the conversation in an open, non judgmental attitude.

Opening the Conversation

One thing that you want to really make sure you are doing in your approach is making sure that your loved one doesn’t feel cornered or under attack. If you go into the conversation in “attack” mode or go full on you most likely will be met with walls up and them being defensive.

Start with phrases starting with “I” rather than “you”, such as:

  • “I am worried about you”
  • “I wonder if drinking less might help you feel more alert and help you feel better overall?”
  • “I was wondering if maybe you might be drinking too much”
  • “I noticed that you don’t seem to have as much energy as before”
  • “I remember you felt really good before you started drinking”

By starting the conversation from a more gentle, friendly point of view you will help your loved one reflect on some of the questions you are asking without making them feel judged.

Become a Resource For Your Loved One

The best thing you can do for your loved one is to turn yourself into a resource that they feel comfortable going to. Become a resource by reading up and researching as much as you can about addiction, treatment options, therapy, etc. When they are ready to seek help and want to change, you can give them solid resources and correct advice by empowering yourself with knowledge. Become their number one supporter by showing how much you care for them.

What to Keep In Mind

It’s important to choose the right time to talk.

Talk to them while they are sober and not under any type of influences.

Act as a friend not as a counselor

Try to be sensitive.

Refrain from using words that have to do with addiction.

Be patient.
It can take some time and several conversations for someone to commit to changing. Remember that it’s their decision to change and not yours.

The important thing is ask questions in order to make your loved one reflect on how they are actually feeling and living. It is up to them to do the deep thinking and decide when they are ready to make a change. Your role is to help nudge them on the right path and offer support.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, call Ridgeview Ranch today to speak with one of our Addiction Specialists at (877) 526–7706 for a free consultation. For additional information regarding our detox, outpatient and inpatient (30, 60, & 90 day) treatment programs, please visit We accept all major PPO insurances and have financing programs to fit your needs. We are also now in network with Beacon Health Options, formerly Value Options. We are here to help you!

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Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center

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Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, established since 2007, is California’s premier alcohol and drug treatment center located in the greater Los Angeles area.

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