Sunday 17 December 2017

What you can do to help a friend

If a friend or loved one is suffering from a psychological addiction and is not in denial about their drinking you can play a key role in helping them cut down or quit alcohol, especially if they have reached the 'contemplation stage' -- when they consider the possibility that alcohol might be a problem. You can help by:

•Encouraging them to keep a drink diary to monitor their drinking activities and how they feel before and after them

•Providing positive encouragement and highlighting the benefits of what they are achieving

•Not criticising, nagging, being judgmental or "policing"

•Setting the right example by drinking as little as possible in their company

•Always being prepared to listen

•Accompanying them to activities that don't involve drinking

•Introducing them to de-alcoholised substitutes

If, however, the drinker is suffering from a physical addiction or is in denial, different tactics are required. Not drinking in their presence could, for example, wind them up so they actually drink more.

The key is to help them come to the realisation that they might have a drink problem and may benefit from medical advice.

For further information see

Irish Independent

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