The Best Way to Help an Alcoholic

If you are reading this then you have probably found Bottled Up when you were searching for information on how to help the alcoholic in your life.  Most people who come here are looking for two things that they believe can change the alcoholic in their lives.  You are probably looking for the same things.

The first thing that most people want is information on whether their partners are actually alcoholics or not.  Deep down, they believe that they are but they just want confirmation to be absolutely sure.  So, if they already know the answer then why are they still asking the question, are they hoping that the answer will change?  If you want that information then have a look at these pages.  Medical criteria ; 25 Signs that your partner has a drinking problem  and Drinking problems.

Nice as that might be, they are not actually expecting a different answer this time.  Really the reason they keep asking that question is linked to the second reason they come to the website, to find a tool, a strategy, a word, a phrase, anything, that will help to change their drinker’s behaviour.  Because, if they can find the ‘ultimate truth’ that their drinker is really an alcoholic, then maybe this time they can convince him/her that there is a genuine problem that needs to be addressed.  That, armed with this proof, they can break through the denial and influence the drinker to seek help.

Most of the people who come here are, understandably, looking for that precious bit of information, that lever that will change everything.  You see for most people who come to this website, and other websites like it, they believe that the key to a happy future lies in the drinker changing, no other changes are required.  So, the total focus is often on that goal, which means that they miss the best strategy that they have at their disposal, the strategy that has been shown to have the best chance of achieving the change that they want.

The Best Way to Help an Alcoholic

Does this description of visitors to our website sound familiar to you?  Are you here to find information and tools to diagnose and change your drinker?  Well the good news is – you can find them here.  We have lots of information in articles, ebooks, how to guides, videos and audios; so no shortage of information.  However, for that information to work for you, or for you to even look at it and consider it valuable, may require a change of mindset on your part, not just your drinker’s.

Our experience of working in this area for a decade now, which is strongly supported by current research, is that drinkers are more likely to change when their partner gets help and support for themselves.  I know that was not what you came to Bottled Up to hear but before you click away to some other website that will tell you a different story, just give us a minute.

Whether you want the role or not, if you live with a problem drinker then you are the adult in the relationship.  It is you who holds the relationship and/or the family together, you are the anchor.  It has been found that when the anchor gets help then there a number of positive consequences.  Firstly, for the children you getting help will result in:-

  • ·        Increased aspirations for the future
  • ·        Increased self-esteem and confidence
  • ·        Increased ability to deal with change
  • ·        Improved educational attainment

Second for the drinker there is a strong effect that results in:-

  • ·        More likely to get treatment
  • ·        More likely to stay in treatment
  • ·        Better chance of recovery
  • ·        Better, more stable recovery

Finally – for You

  • ·        Improved positive relationships inside and outside the home
  • ·        Improved social life
  • ·        Increased productivity at work
  • ·        Improved health and well-being

If you look at this list and compare it against the wish list that you came to this website with, we guarantee that there is a very strong match between the two, if they are not actually identical.


Come and get the help that Bottled Up has to offer; this is almost certainly the best piece of advice we can offer.  When you have help and support you are able to make better decisions and take actions that you would find difficult otherwise.  So, come and join Bottled Up and let us help and support you.  You are worth it and the results are what you are looking for – even if the method of achieving them are not.

Have a look at this discussion about How to Help an Alcoholic to see the process of how alcoholics change.

Or, if you feel that you have enough information now and want transformation rather than information then let us show you how to change your life

7 Replies to “The Best Way to Help an Alcoholic”

  1. My partner has stopped drinking for a few years now. The problem is that he is miserable and erratic. I am concerned for his mental health as I feel that the way in lá breithe shona duithigh he consumed alcohol, (several bottles of vodka a day when on a binge) has caused brain damage. Not sure what to do.

    1. The problem for some people is that drinking is a major part of their lives. As they see it, it can be the friend that is always there for them and it is a great loss when they give it up. In fact for some there is a grieving process that they need to go through as part of the recovery. Whether they grieve or not there is a hole left in the person’s life and if they do not fill it with something then they may well be miserable. This is one of the reasons that many members of AA spend so much time at meetings. Others fill this void with exercise or religion or education or work. There is no right answer to what they fill the void with, they just need to do something.
      One thing that definitely helps, is a change of attitude. Instead of focussing on the loss of the alcohol, if we can focus on what we gain from not drinking it makes a big difference. That way we move our mood from the pain of loss to gratitude.

      Sometimes that is not easy. What can help is to sit with a piece of paper and draw a cross on it. Then write at the top of the columns, Good things an Bad things and across the rows Drinking and Not Drinking. Then write in each of the spaces the good and bad things about drinking and the good and bad things about not drinking. It can help to get things into perspective.

  2. Hi John and Lou,
    This seems to be the only way to communicate with you now. I tried to pass some feedback on the new site but my email was returned as your old email addresses had changed.
    The new site is very organised and easy to use, it looks good and has most of the same great information and advice. However I was looking for the forum which seems to have gone, sadly. While I know it was not used much for a while, I always thought it would come back to life again. For me it was integral to this site, as I found it a great comfort to know that I could communicate with others in a similar situation, especially when I was low in spirit, so that I no longer felt alone. This connection added an unusual depth to this site I felt, that was not provided anywhere else that I am aware of. I hope you might return it again.
    Regards and much gratitude for the assistance I have had from this site in the past, it changed my life, and also had a big impact on my partner who is now well on the road to a full recovery.

    1. Hi Catherine
      glad to hear that your partner is on the road to recovery. Great news and encouraging for others.
      NOt sure what you mean about my email being changed. I have changed my email but the previous email is set to forward all emails on. So I can still be reached at my old email address. The forum is still there, very quiet but still there. It really needs someone to kick it into life. We have also recently added an archive of some of the forum conversations from the old website and hope to include more soon. Thanks for commenting.

  3. The same principals of helping a problem or potential problem deer can be the same for an alcoholic, I think. You can’t do it for them. And, harping doesn’t work.
    I’ve been sick for a little over a week now, feeling much better. I still have some congestion in my chest. Years ago I found out a few sips of beer (About 3 inches.) relaxes my lungs and I can breathe more freely. I went online and found out it was the barley the affects the respiratory and circulatory systems. Tonight I had one beer. My chest felt better. Mission accomplished. Then I asked my teenage daughter to do the dishes…fun times. This time I stopped and thought about how much this site has helped me. I went my office and fed the pet mice I didn’t want but was given anyway. When I came back down I talked with my wife in our bedroom. She felt it was Sunday so we all had the day off with the bad weather we had. I said that it was ok, we’ll start again tomorrow having a schedule. I said that she could note that I didn’t lose my temper. Since following this site I have minded my temper and my words much better. I am striving to show a quiet strength as I guide my family. Alcohol is no loner a coping mechanism for me! I’m getting there little by little.

  4. Hi
    Thanks for setting up this website. My husband was drinking a lot of beer 15 cans a week and a bottle of whiskey every week over 4 to 5 nights. He had cardiac surgery last year and we as a family were at our wits end as he is short tempered especially the days he wasn’t drinking. Anyway after reading advice here and seeking help with other agency , convinced me he is a problem drinker and I had a talk with him last December about it in a way I never have before, as I no longer want to live like this.
    To my surprise he stopped drinking and we were at a party in July and he drank alcohol free beer. Is this wise or should he stay away from this too?
    Thanks again

    1. I’m glad that the website has helped you and your family, and thank you for letting us know. It is always good to hear what happens when people visit Bottled Up.

      In recent years no-alcohol beers, wines and spirits have become commonplace. In fact, I was at a party last night and one of the guests offered me some non alcoholic wine. I politely declined. Firstly, I don’t see the point of it. Second, I know I don’t drink, my wife knows, my friends know and I am happy to tell anyone who needs to know. So, I see no point in pretending to them, or me. Finally, I always feel that it could be a step towards relapse as I have seen too many people return to drinking that way. After all, the first drink is in the head before it is in the hand. That said, as Lou reminded me, your husband should be commended for choosing a non-alcoholic drink instead of an alcoholic one. However, there are possible dangers in that choice for the future.

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