Without knowing what to look for, we may miss the signs that someone close to us is taking too much alcohol. When your friend or family member appears visibly drunk, or they have large quantities of alcohol within a short period of time this becomes obvious. You can spot the changes in their personality as you know them well. We inquired with the experts on alcohol dependency to offer their opinion.
According to Dr Sheri Jacobson, psychotherapist and councillor at Harley Therapy, the most appropriate method to approach the one you are worried about is with compassion and sensitivity.
Consider how you would like to be approached if an individual looked forward to giving you information about having a problem with alcohol.
"It can be humiliating to be told they may be drinking too much and their first response might be to be defensive and deny they have a problem," says Dr Jacobson.
With drinking being so standard placed in our society and binge drinkers being so common, it's easy for the person to think that everyone else is drinking like them. Show concern rather than disapproval and tell them that you're worried about their well-being."
Speaking with a positive language is essential to this understanding approach.
Moreover, it is best definitely toward harsh criticism, making judgments and giving labels like alcoholic. To avoid circular conversations (Them: "No, I'm not!" You: "Yes, you are."). Additionally, it's more appropriate to make open questions, such as "I've noticed X, what do you think?" than "don't you think you have an issue?"
Frankly speaking, it is very important for you to select the best moment for the two of you. Wait for both of you to be in the proper mood, relaxed, self-assured, and not too many emotions involved. You will give the person proper help and guidance if you have prepared yourself with as much knowledge as you can.
Getting the person involved with whom you are concerned to the stage and seeking the support they need from independent professionals will hopefully help them to change their behaviour or their relationship with alcohol. This would mean that they'll get to hear about their drinking problem from someone else who's not you. You could very well be surprised to understand that the person concerned will begin to agree with you. They could say: "Yes, I believe I am drinking as well. Alternatively it is also possible that they may not. The most important thing is for them to want to change their drinking habits themselves although you can offer your support. You will need to have the same conversation with the individual multiple times before they accept that they do have a problem.
We can offer a confidential alcohol self-assessment test which can provide an initial assessment of the drinking habits and provide clear advice on the following steps. You can also get more advice about the effect of alcohol can have on your relationship.