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Worried about a loved one?

If you are worried about someone else’s drinking, we can support you to understand more and how to cope with the situation.

It may be difficult to have conversations such as ‘problem drinking’, but we can offer a few tips on approaching them.

Things to think about:

Image of thinking bubbles. Do they accept they have a problem? Is it a good time to talk? Would they be open to help?

Picking a good time is very important when approaching a difficult conversation. It’s best that you prepare for it and try to avoid getting angry or emotional, as this could lead to one of you saying something you may regret.

Using examples

Using examples of consequences due to drinking may help someone think about the amount they drink. You could say:

  • ‘You became very aggressive when we were talking last week, it made me feel scared’.
  • ‘We were really disappointed that we couldn’t have dinner as a family because you stayed at the pub’.
  • ‘Emily was so upset that you couldn’t take her to dance class because you were hungover’.

Avoid blame and accusations

While having conversations such as this one, a person may already be feeling low, guilty or even angry, you don’t want to come across as you are arguing with them.

Make sure you are showing that you are here for this person and doing it for their best interests:

  • ‘I’m worried about your drinking’
  • ‘I feel like your drinking is causing some problems’

Where can I go for help?

Here are some websites that offer family support services for those who may be suffering due to someone else’s drinking:


Adfam is the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol. It aims to empower family members and carers, support frontline workers and influence decision-makers to prevent alcohol and drugs from destroying families.


Al-Anon Family Groups provide support to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else’s drinking, regardless of whether that person is still drinking or not.


Cranstoun, Sandwell aims to provide a safe and supportive environment to help people make the changes they need to live safer and healthier lives.

Still need help?

Send an enquiry to our friendly Healthy Sandwell team.

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