Dos and Don’ts

Talking to someone about an alcohol use concern can be hard, but you might be able to help your friend or loved one. Follow these Dos and Don’ts when talking to someone about alcohol use.



  • Speak to the person when they are sober
  • Express your feelings about their drinking using “I” statements.
    Focus on how their drinking affects you
  • Bring up specific behaviors that worry you
  • Explain that you are worried about the person’s health
  • Suggest activities that don’t include alcohol
  • Direct them to helpful resources, such as this website
  • Support them if they decide to get treatment
  • Label the person or call them an alcoholic
  • Lecture the person on their behavior
  • Use guilt or bribe the person to stop drinking
  • Threaten the person
  • Plead with them to stop
  • Expect the person to get better on their own