How to Get an Alcoholic to Quit Without Ruining the Relationship

In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s really hard to stop drinking. That’s why alcoholics aren’t able to just flip a switch and stop drinking, in most cases at least.

By the time an alcoholic admits they have a drinking problem, they’ve probably already gotten themselves accustomed to all sorts of mental gymnastics and justifications. Maybe they’ve convinced themselves it’s not that bad and they’re in denial, or they’ve gotten past the point of caring.

Either way, the point is that it’s not easy to stop drinking, but it’s possible. And it’s worth doing.

If someone in your life has a drinking problem, you need to try to understand what it’s like for them because if you just expect them to magically stop, then get frustrated when they don’t, it can have a huge strain on your relationship.

You could get annoyed at them and end up pushing them aside, or they could get fed up with you and cut you out of their life.

If you’re able to help push them in the right direction, even if it takes time and effort and is a bumpy road, that’s still better than if you are out of each other’s lives entirely.

How to Get an Alcoholic to Quit

You can’t force somebody to stop drinking.

They have to want to do it.

Sometimes, that’s easier to say than it is to do.

There’s ups and downs in the process. If you decide you want to be there for them, you need to be aware of these bumps because it’s not good for you to say you’re going to support someone and then not understand what you’re taking on.

It’s okay to choose not to dedicate your energy to helping an alcoholic. You aren’t obligated. But if you do decide that you’re going to be there, know what you’re getting yourself into, especially if they’re going to trust you and rely on you.

  • Step 1: Support System
  • Step2: They Have to Want It
  • Step 3: Understand the Process
  • Step 4: One Day at a Time

You don’t have to be their entire support system, but you can help put together a support system. This can include helping them be around positive people who aren’t going to drink around them, and helping them cut out toxic friends who don’t care if they’re trying to stop drinking.

Maintain The Connection

If they’re at rock bottom and they feel like they have nobody, sometimes just having a friend can make all the difference.

Again, if it’s a toxic situation that’s causing you harm, you don’t have to walk to the end of the earth to support an alcoholic. But if you know you’re going to stay in their life and you want to see them get better, you should maintain the bridge and not burn it (within reason).

More helpful articles about helping someone quit alcohol:

Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.