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How to cope with alcoholism

>Common signs of alcoholism are: a lack of cash or money being splashed about, flashpoints and arguments, drunken behaviour and a deterioration in performance at work. But remember, every situation is different -- behaviour can depend on age, gender and lifestyle, and can be hard to spot.

>Choose a time when the person is sober to raise your concerns. Tell them that you are worried about their health and offer support. Point out the areas where problems are occurring. Is drinking having an impact at work, on relationships or on finances? Tell them what you miss about how they used to be, and ask if they'd like some help. It's not advisable to suddenly take away alcohol -- or money for alcohol -- from a heavy drinker. If they have a severe problem, this can be dangerous.

>Confidential and free advice is available to anyone living with an alcoholic -- you won't be judged for seeking help. Visit your GP or contact these organisations:

Alcoholics Anonymous

Tel: (01) 842 0700; www. alcoholicsanonymous.ie

Email: gso@alcoholicsanony mous.ie

Drug Treatment Centre Board www.addictionireland.ie

Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy

Tel: (01) 272 3427; www. irish-counselling.ie/

Email: iacp@iacp.ie