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.”