U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Alcohol Use: Conversation starters

Alcohol Use: Conversation starters

It takes courage to talk to a family member or friend about a drinking problem. These tips can help you get started.

Be honest about how you feel.

“I care about you.”

“I'm worried about your health. Drinking too much puts you at risk for heart disease, stroke, liver problems, and some cancers.”

“Your drinking is affecting our relationship.”

Offer tips on how to cut back or quit.

“Set a drinking limit. Stick to your limit by writing down every drink you have.”

“Try taking a night or two off from drinking each week.”

“When we go out, we can stay away from bars or other places that make you want to drink.”

“If you are having trouble sticking to your limits, consider joining a support group or talking to a doctor.”

Support making a change.

“How can I support you?”

“Talk to me when you want a drink. We can go for a walk or do something else instead.”

“Let’s enjoy activities that don’t involve drinking – like seeing a movie or working in the garden.”