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How to Get Past an Alcoholic’s Excuses

The excuses of an alcoholic are legendary. All kinds of addicts use excuses to deny that they have a problem, but with alcohol being a legal and socially acceptable substance of abuse, alcoholics can come up with many more believable excuses for indulging. If someone you love has a problem with drinking and constantly makes excuses, it can be frustrating when all you want to do is help. To get help an alcoholic has to break through those excuses and fully admit to having a problem with alcohol. Here’s how you do it.

Combat Each Excuse with an Answer

If you have been around this person for a while you probably know all of his alcoholic excuses by now. Think of a logical response to each one. For instance, if he says that he needs to drink at the end of the day because of stress, point out that it makes him feel worse the next day and only adds to his stress. Also provide examples of other ways that he can cope with stress, such as exercise, meditation, reading a good book or watching a favorite TV show. Wear him down with logical answers to his illogical excuses.

Enlist Family and Friends

Of course your alcoholic loved one will not immediately respond positively to your answers to his excuses. In fact, he will probably accuse you of nagging him. He may even add another excuse: no one else seems to have a problem with my drinking. Counteract this excuse and all the others by bringing in family and friends to join your cause. It’s much harder to remain in denial when everyone is confronting him about his problem.

Use an Interventionist

“What is an interventionist?” you might wonder. This is an expert you can call in if you still can’t break through your alcoholic’s excuses, even with the help of others. An intervention is a planned confrontation to express concerns to an addict in a loving and supporting way. Hosting an intervention can be overwhelming or even scary. You may not be sure how your alcoholic loved one will react. A professional interventionist can help you set up a meeting with the best chances of success and to minimize a violent reaction.

Provide Solutions

Finally, make sure that you offer solutions when you confront your alcoholic and his many excuses. Breaking through and getting him to admit to having a problem is a great success, but if you don’t have an answer to his problem, you’re stuck. Your interventionist can help you be ready with resources for treatment. Make sure that your resources come with the promise of support. He will need the support of you and others to be successful in treatment.


Loving an alcoholic who makes constant excuses for his drinking can be difficult, but by challenging those excuses and offering help you are doing all you can to help him get well. Alcohol rehab success rates are good when the addict has the love and support of someone like you.

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