How to Convince Someone to Stop Drinking

How to Convince Someone to Stop Drinking


Many people out there would like to know how to convince someone to stop drinking alcohol.  Well there are a couple approaches that you can try but there are not miracles that you can access here.  The bottom line is always going to be that there is no magic bullet to get someone to change, and if they are going to self destruct then there is nothing you can do to stop them.  The most we can do in some cases is plead our case and try to help them as best we can.  But ultimately the final decision and action are in their hands.

The first approach you might use to convince the alcoholic is the confrontational approach.  This is sort of the old school, get in their face approach and be a bit threatening with it.  You basically try to intimidate them a bit or even scare them a bit in the hopes to rile them up enough to change or agree to seek help.  Most experts in the intervention field agree that this approach is of limited usefulness and should probably be avoided.

The second approach you can try is what the experts are currently recommending.  That is more of a loving and caring approach from the family to try and convince someone to get help. The people in the family can tell the alcoholic how their drinking makes them feel, without being accusatory and confrontational about it.  The idea here is to be supportive and offer the alcoholic an avenue to get help and leave the decision more in their hands, instead of trying to force their hand or intimidate them with it.  The thinking also goes that if you force someone into rehab, it is not going to work anyway, and that they have to want it for themselves in order to get decent results.

Danger of death
Creative Commons License photo credit: Funkdooby

People who are trapped in a cycle of alcoholism do not necessarily respond well to any of this stuff.  They do not always care to listen to logical arguments or to pleas to their emotional side. They don’t care if they could save money or have a better life or have their family back or whatever.  They are trapped in the addiction and they do not see a way out and they can not picture their life sober.  All of the potential arguments are meaningless because they might be at a point where they either want to drink or they want to die. Sobriety is not a workable option for them and the fear of facing it might be so strong that they reject sobriety at all costs.

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In that case all you can do is plead your case, offer to help, and then give them time to find the path.  There might not be much more that you can do at this point.  We want to believe that we could somehow force a person to get the help that they need, but often this is not the case at all, and trying to do so will only push them further away from us.


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