Convincing a Loved One they Need Treatment

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 | By Chris Clancy

Right now, there is someone who is watching a loved one self-destruct. They’ve witnessed the progression from just a beer or two on the weekends to several drinks a day. If this is you, and you’re feeling helpless, you’re not alone.

Many people just don’t know what to do to convince their loved one that he might need rehab for drinking. The relationship with this person has probably changed significantly—more tension, fighting, or maybe there’s barely a relationship left at all. You want to address the situation but aren’t sure what to say, when to say it, or how it’s going to impact your future relationship with this person.

Here is a roundup of what experts say is the best approach to letting someone know rehab for drinking is necessary:

Signs Someone May Need Rehab for a Drinking Problem

Before approaching your loved one with a difficult conversation, you may feel better if you confirm your suspicions. According to, these are some signs that your loved one may have a drinking problem:

Neglecting everyday responsibilities

Is your spouse missing work or going in late due to drinking? Is your son or daughter missing school? Is performance sliding? If your loved one is skipping out of commitments due to excessive drinking or the next-day-results of heavy drinking, there is a problem.

Reckless Behavior

Using alcohol recklessly, in situations that are dangerous to themselves and others, like driving or operating machinery while drinking, or mixing prescription medication with alcohol.

Legal Problems

Incurring multiple legal problems due to drinking, including DUI, DWI, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, or assault.

Continuing to Drink Despite Its Negative Effects on Relationships

When someone continues reckless or excessive drinking, even though it is the source of arguments in a relationship.

Relieving Stress By Drinking

It’s common for drinking problems to begin when the individual starts drinking to relieve stress and progressively replaces all other stress relievers with alcohol.

How to Talk to Someone Who Needs Rehab for Drinking

Healthline offers some great tips for beginning the conversation. It begins with doing some research on your part about alcohol use disorder. There are a number of resources you can refer to for information about the disease, including Al-Anon, a group dedicated to friends and family members who are concerned about someone’s drinking problem. Their website contains information, quizzes, and a calendar of meetings that are open for anyone to attend.

Other resources include SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Alcoholics Anonymous, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

After you’ve armed yourself with helpful information, pick the right time to start the conversation. Be sure to avoid times when they are drinking, stressed, angry, or preoccupied. Approach the conversation openly and honestly, in a compassionate tone.

Also, be prepared for a negative reaction from the user. There is certainly the chance they will lash out in denial. Offer your help in a nonjudgmental, sincere way, but ask for a commitment that they consider going to rehab for their drinking.

If your loved one is resistant to the conversation and is not receptive to rehab, an intervention might be necessary. There are many professional interventionists who are skilled at bringing together a supportive team of loved ones, leading conversations, and acting as a neutral party to foster healthy discussions during the process. Our admissions coordinators at JourneyPure Bowling Green can help connect you with a professional interventionist near you. Call today.


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