How to Persuade Someone Not to Drink Alcohol

Updated February 21, 2017

Approximately 2 billion people worldwide, or one-third of the world's population, consume alcoholic beverages regularly, according to Of those 2 billion people, nearly 76 million have an alcohol addiction or alcohol-related disorder. Moderate social alcohol consumption is commonly found in many parts of Western culture, but some people can form an unhealthy addiction to alcohol. While it's rarely easy, there are a few different approaches to appealing to someone's sensibilities and persuading her to stop drinking alcohol.

Educate the person about the negative effects alcohol has on the human body. Compile research and information from Internet websites and reference books concerning how alcohol affects humans, such as by impairing judgment, slowing reflexes and reaction times, and the risk of alcohol poisoning. Explain to the person that drinking alcohol to the point where she is intoxicated can get her into bad situations such as fighting and even rape.

Ask the person why she wants to or why she does drink alcohol. Does she want to drink because she thinks everyone else is, because she is lonely or because she likes to be out in the social scene at bars and clubs? Listen to her reasoning intently to get a better understanding for her motivations for drinking and determine if her reasons are healthy, understandable ones or not.

Inform the person of the legal consequences of drinking alcohol. If the person is younger than 21 years old, remind her that she risks getting fined or arrested for underage drinking. If the person is 21 years old or older, explain that drinking alcohol can sometimes lead to driving while intoxicated or other illegal or harmful activities, like public intoxication, fighting or doing drugs.

Express your own personal concerns and feelings to the person. Tell the person how her drinking makes you feel and why you think it is an unhealthy behaviour. Tell her that you are worried about her and list the reasons you do not want her to drink. Provide the person with alternatives to drinking and tell her that you will help her to stop if she is a problem drinker. If you know of others who also want the person to not drink, recruit them to talk to the person and share their feelings and concerns as well.

Let the person make mistakes and suffer the consequences. While it is not ideal to let someone drink in a manner that results in any negative health, financial or legal issues, screwing up may help her to learn from her mistakes and see what a negative effect alcohol has on her life. It sometimes takes a person's hitting rock bottom to get them on the road to recovery.


Avoid being confrontational or combative with the person. Do not nag her or have an accusatory tone with her when talking. If the person feels like she is being attacked she will be less likely to listen to you and be receptive to what you have to say. Consult a doctor or addiction specialist to talk about the person you want to stop drinking. Explain the person's behaviour and how much they drink. You may come to find out that the person is an alcoholic, at which time the doctor or specialist may be able to help you get the person into treatment.

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About the Author

Dan Richter began freelance writing in 2006. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the "Wausau Daily Herald," "Stevens Point Journal," "Central Wisconsin Business Magazine" and the "Iowa City Press-Citizen." Richter graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and media studies.