How to force or convince an alcoholic to seek treatment for alcoholism

Loving someone who is addicted to alcohol can be one of the most painful things to happen in your life, especially if it’s a husband or wife. Surely more than once you have thought about how to get an alcoholic to be treated and is it possible to convince him in some way? Is it possible to persuade a husband to go voluntarily to be treated or is it mandatory to force him? How to talk to him about his alcoholism?

After all, there is nothing worse than seeing your loved one get drunk. Until recently, he was support and hope, and now he is moving away from you, preferring a bottle of alcohol to your company. Because of this, it is more difficult for you to find a common language, and sentimental conversations about the dangers of alcohol usually end in a fiasco.

Because the alcoholic has become addicted to liquor and dependent on it. Considering that he has no problems with this, and if he wants, he can give up alcohol at any time. After some time, pulling a loved one out of the embrace of a green serpent will not be easy at all. How then can an exhausted wife convince her husband to agree to treatment? Let’s look at 4 steps that can be done.

4 steps to get an alcoholic into treatment for alcoholism

The best way to convince is to instill your own solution

Since his decision about the need for treatment will have more weight than the attempts of relatives to convince him of this. Where to start? Recognition by the husband of his addiction – this begins the process of curing alcohol addiction.

It is necessary that he, first of all, admit to himself that he has fallen into the grip of the “green serpent” and is not able to free himself from his embrace. Without such recognition, all convincing words or arguments about the need for treatment will be useless.

Tip:  Get ready to have a serious conversation with a sober spouse. Try to give strong arguments as to why such a conversation about treatment is overdue. Argument your words with the main signs of alcoholism shown by the husband.

Motivate to make the right decision

This is the next step in convincing an alcoholic to get treatment. If a husband can perceive reality, then it is possible to motivate him to undergo a course of treatment with just a conversation. To do this, when talking, appeal with arguments about health, family, and work.

  • Health:

    Pale complexion, swollen arms and legs, as well as a grown belly and chest (with beer alcoholism).
  • Pain in the heart, jumping pressure – the result of daily drunkenness.
  • Problems with falling asleep and sleeping. Explain that his frequent insomnia is the result of alcohol abuse.
  • Increased mood swings are observed, indicating a problem with the psychological or emotional state. Because of this, the whole family suffers.

Tip: Offer to remember or think about how he felt and was healthy before the habit of drinking. Drawing his attention to the fact that alcohol is to blame for everything, but not everything is lost if you stop drinking in time.


In addition to men’s health, there are still problems with the family. Not only the wife suffers, but the children are exhausted, constantly observing their father’s condition. Because of this, the wife may not have enough patience, and she will leave him, taking the children with her. Since she is subject to constant fear for her life, her health, and her children. What can be argued?

  • He became uninterested in his wife and the fulfillment of marital duty. Instead of gentle greetings in the morning, she is greeted by the displeased look of her husband.
  • Lack of interest in the life or problems of growing children.
  • He ceased to care not only about the spiritual, emotional well-being of the family, but also material. Now the maintenance of the family fell on the shoulders of his wife. Whereas from these crumbs he spends on drinking not only the money he earned, but also the crumbs earned by his wife.
  • For him, now it is preferable to have a company of drinking companions with cheap booze than a wife, children, friends.
  • He became aggressive, loses his temper for no reason, beating or emotionally suppressing his wife, children with humiliation or threats to use beatings.

Tip: Try to choose your words carefully so that your spouse does not perceive your arguments as attacks or condemnation. Focus on the problem because of what he has such behavior, and in fact, until recently he was a different person. Try to convince your husband that you believe in his ability to change so that the family will again become friendly and happy. That he loves you and therefore you will never have to think about how to force an alcoholic to be treated to pull him out of the grip of addiction.


  • There were not only family difficulties, but also problems at work. Discord in relations with the team, boss. Instead of promotion, salary increase, it is lowered everywhere. Tell us how this could turn out for him if this continues:
  • He can be fired from work with a “wolf ticket”, after which it will be extremely difficult for him to find a more or less normal job. Since employers are unlikely to want to get involved with such a worker.
  • Help him remember his goals and plans, which he dreamed about through this work. Make it clear that all this is still possible if you give up the addiction.

Choose the right time and place

The ideal time to talk about a spouse’s drinking problem is shortly after an alcohol-related incident. It will be helpful to gather your thoughts together and write them down so that you can refer to them later in the course of the conversation. Without interrupting, listen attentively to what the husband says in justification.

A suitable place should be such that no one distracts you from a calm conversation. So it is more likely that the attention of a life partner will be riveted to your words. Make sure he’s not upset or preoccupied with other matters and must also be sober.

The purpose of the conversation is to bring him to the idea that he needs to take care of himself, go to the doctor for a diagnosis, or just talk with a psychologist.

Offer your help

You probably understand that you cannot force an alcoholic, whether a husband or wife, to be treated for alcoholism. All you can do is sincerely offer your help. For example, you can support him during meetings with a counselor in a clinic or an alcoholics anonymous group.

How to talk to an alcoholic

Talking to an alcoholic is always a sensitive topic because he will deny his alcohol addiction. It can also cause rage on his part, insults, prompting him to take a defensive position. Let’s look at some tips to keep in mind when talking to an alcoholic husband.

  • Try to formulate positive arguments that show your love, concern for his well-being, as well as health. Avoid negative or judgmental tone. At the same time, you should not immediately force him to be treated. At first, it is best to avoid the word altogether.
  • Stick to the tactics of “I”, not “You” using phrases that begin with these letters. Instead of saying: “You are an alcoholic and you need to be treated,” it is better to say: “I love you and I care about your future. Let’s talk about how you’re feeling, as I’m worried that drinking will harm your health if you haven’t already.” Thanks to this subtle approach, you avoid blaming, but rather invite discussion. So the life partner will feel your concern for him.
  • Also think about the manner of the conversation, and your words in case of refusal to talk or accusations against you. Regardless of the reaction, you need to remain calm. So the alcoholic will see your respect for him and care.
  • State the facts as you see them. This means refraining from embellishments and assumptions based only on the behavior of the spouse. Talk only about what you yourself have seen or observed. Do not refer to words or speeches that neighbors, colleagues or acquaintances have told you. Preliminary consultation with a psychologist will help you understand how to convince an alcoholic to be treated for alcoholism, start a conversation correctly and adequately respond to insults of an alcohol addict.
  • Try to remain calm, even if the marriage companion begins to provoke a confrontation.
  • Explain how the alcoholic husband’s behavior affects you and the children, if any.
  • Assure your marriage companion that you are ready to walk the path of recovery from alcoholism and drunkenness with him with all the difficulties and limitations. Feeling the native shoulder of a person who loves him will help an alcoholic recover from drunkenness faster.
  • Assure him if he is ashamed that no one except the treating doctor will know about his treatment and the problem with alcohol addiction.
  • If you notice your husband becoming aggressive or hostile, end the conversation and try again later at a more appropriate time.

What to avoid when talking

  1. You should not start a conversation about the treatment of alcoholism when the spouse is drunk, angry and unable to adequately communicate. Better to wait until he sobers up.
  2. Avoid talking about healing when you are angry or angry. Not to say anything superfluous or offensive.
  3. Avoid compromises by remaining adamant, because you convince your husband, not he convinces you. Your firmness will help him understand how serious you are.
  4. Swearing or arguing with a marriage companion, as well as blaming, shaming or teaching him in a raised tone, turning into a scream. The response can be not only a scandal, but also beatings.
  5. Try crying or hysteria to put pressure on pity, perceived by an alcoholic for an accusation against him.
  6. Threaten divorce if you don’t intend to leave.
  7. Do not throw words even in a fit of feelings, like he is “a goner, an alcoholic, a damned drunkard.”
  8. Try not to coerce or force your husband to agree to treatment.
  9. Begging a marriage partner for a promise to stop drinking

Signs that the husband is drinking

The early stages of alcoholism include:

  1. Attempts to hide your drinking habit.
  2. Every day finds a reason to drink. It is worth noting that even one glass daily (if you are not able to refuse) already speaks of the system, which is a sign of the husband’s alcohol addiction.
  3. Increased quarrels and scandals over alcohol. Leading to failure to fulfill family obligations to take care of all the needs of his family.
  4. Faced with stressful situations or problems, he tries to escape from reality by resorting to alcohol.
  5. Every time he drinks more and more without controlling the amount drunk.
  6. Can drink at any time of the day, and often alone.
  7. A conversation or a reproachful look from his wife / children causes him anger, hostility, anger.
  8. Sudden lack of interest in work or other previously important activities, including family activities. Feeling empty and alone when sober.
  9. Increased complaints of feeling unwell, including headaches, nausea, and lack of energy.
  10. Empty or unfinished bottles, moreover, hidden from prying eyes in the husband’s garage or workshop.


There is no clear template for getting an alcoholic into voluntary treatment because such conversations are not easy. You will have to make efforts, patience, understanding, prudence, and some resourcefulness to persuade your marriage partner.

And there is no guarantee that these 4 steps will help. However, do not give up, because hope dies last. An alcoholic needs the right motivation for the release from the grip of the “green snake” to get off the ground. To do this, try to convey to his mind the idea of ​​​​a positive result at the end of treatment.