How to Get Help When You’re Living With an Alcoholic

There are so many difficulties that happen as a result of sharing your space with someone addicted to alcohol. In this blog from Sobriety and Wellbeing, we look at what these are, and give you the information you need to support your loved one to get treatment for alcohol addiction.

Emotional Turmoil

Living with an alcoholic is an emotional rollercoaster that tests your limits of patience and emotional well-being. The constant unpredictability of an alcoholic’s behavior leads to heightened anxiety, stress, and a perpetual sense of unease.

The emotional turmoil often becomes a shared experience among family members, creating an environment loaded with tension and uncertainty.

Strained Relationships

The difficulties of living with an alcoholic extend to strained relationships within the family. Trust is eroded as promises are broken and commitments go unfulfilled. Communication becomes challenging, with the focus shifting towards the alcoholic’s behavior and its consequences. This strain on relationships can create a sense of isolation, as family members withdraw emotionally to protect themselves from the constant stress.

Financial Challenges

The financial strain of living with an alcoholic compounds difficulties. Alcoholism can lead to job loss, decreased productivity and strained employment relationships. The financial toll may extend to legal fees, medical expenses and costs from repairing damages caused by alcohol-induced incidents. These financial challenges perpetuate a cycle of instability, making it harder for the family to regain a sense of security.


Family members who are living with an alcoholic may unintentionally enable the alcoholic’s behavior by covering up, making excuses, or taking on responsibilities that rightfully belong to the alcoholic person. This dynamic fosters dependency that is detrimental to everyone involved.

Impact on Children

Children in households affected by alcoholism are silent victims, facing difficulties that can shape their future. The instability, emotional turmoil, and sometimes neglectful environment can have a lasting impact on their mental and emotional well-being.

How to Convince an Alcoholic to Get Treatment

When you’re living with an alcoholic, knowing what to do can be tough. Alcoholics are often unreceptive to criticism, so you should educate yourself on the best approach to take.

Choose the Right Time and Setting

Timing is crucial when you’re thinking about having a conversation about a loved one’s alcoholism. Pick a moment when the person is most calm and receptive, and steer clear of times of heightened stress or conflict. Go with a private and comfortable setting where they feel safe and are more likely to open up.

Express Concern and Care

Begin the conversation with a genuine expression of concern for their well-being. Use “I” statements to talk about your feelings, like “I am worried about you,” instead of placing blame with “you” statements. Make it clear that your intention is to help and support them, creating an atmosphere without criticism or judgment.

Provide Specific Examples

Share specific instances where their drinking has caused you worry or had negative consequences. Offer concrete examples that show the impact on their health, relationships, or daily life. Focus on observable behaviors to underscore the gravity of the situation.

Highlight the Positives of Treatment

Engage in a conversation about the potential benefits of seeking help, being clear on how treatment can lead to a healthier and more fulfilling life for them. Mention positive aspects of recovery, such as improved physical and mental health and strengthened relationships.

Share Information on Treatment Options

Provide information about various treatment options. While rehab is often a good option for people seeking recovery from alcohol, it can be expensive. If inpatient addiction treatment is too expensive, consider a service like Sobriety and Wellbeing, who can help you detox from alcohol without the big cost.

Involve Supportive People

Having people there who know the person and will act as a united front can increase the chance of a good outcome. Choose people that your alcoholic loved one trusts.

Encourage Self-Reflection

Pose open-ended questions that encourage your alcoholic loved one to think about their life, such as asking, “How do you feel about your drinking?” or “What changes do you think could make your life better?” Allow them the space to express their thoughts and feelings without imposing your views.

Be Ready to Offer Help

Have a treatment option ready. This will reduce the risk of your loved one agreeing to get treatment and then backing out. The key here is to strike while the iron is hot.

Remain Supportive and Patient

Recognize that change is a process, and it may take time for them to come to terms with the need for help. Continue offering support, even if they initially resist the idea of seeking treatment. Patience and understanding are crucial when it comes to alcoholism.

Create Boundaries

Following on from the last point, you should be supportive but not to the extent that your loved one’s behavior can be seriously detrimental to your life or the life of the other people living in the house. When you’re living with an alcoholic, you need to make it clear that negative behavior has consequences.

Get Support With Sobriety and Wellbeing

When someone is living with an alcoholic, their biggest wish is often for their loved one to stop drinking. This can seem like an insurmountable goal, but help is available.

Sobriety and Wellbeing offer a home detox service that is reasonably priced, and gives your loved one everything they need to quit. They will be provided with detox medications that will ensure that the process is safe, and will have support from one of our team who will ensure their detox is going well, offering guidance if needed.

If you would like more information on how we can help your loved one, or you would like to arrange a home detox in the UK, contact us today on 0800 002 5397.