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How to talk to a friend with a drinking problem

Alcoholics often deny that they have a drinking problem. Many will not seek help on their
own. Left alone, these people often experience severe consequences of their drinking
before getting help. Some literally drink themselves to death.

That's hard news if you're concerned about a friend or family member's drinking. But there's good news, too. By skillfully approaching this person, you can make a lifesaving difference.

Most people who decide to enter treatment for alcoholism claim that it was the influence of a close friend or loved one that actually helped them make the decision.

According to a Gallup Poll, 94 percent of Americans believe it's their responsibility to intervene when a friend has a problem with alcohol or other drugs. But the poll also showed that only 38 percent feel "very confident and comfortable" in approaching that friend.

Using the following guidelines can help you gain the kind of influence needed to start a loved one on recovery:


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