Supporting your partner or loved one

Harmful drinking can cause significant issues not only for the drinker, but also for members of their family in the form of health problems, financial worries, relationship breakdown and parenting difficulties.

How to spot if your loved one is drinking too much?

A partner or a loved one might need help with their drinking if:

  • They are having frequent cravings to drink alcohol
  • They are unable to control the amount they drink
  • They are trying to hide their drinking from friends and loved ones
  • They become upset or stressed, or have difficulty making decisions, when going without alcohol

How to raise your concerns about their drinking

If a loved one is drinking heavily on a regular basis, it is likely that it is affecting your relationship. However, it’s important not to criticise or blame them, but to consider how you might talk to them with empathy about their drinking and the effect that this behaviour is having on you. It's a good idea to:

  • Plan what you are going to say
  • Pick a time when they are sober and therefore more receptive to your concerns
  • Avoid an argument - if it's not the right time, try again later

Read our factsheet on 'Supporting a loved one experiencing problems with alcohol' for more.

Read our factsheet