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These are the questions you should never ask a recovering alcoholic

You might mean well, but certain questions might make things worse for someone struggling with alcohol addiction.

In the UK, over 1.4 million people are dependent on alcohol, according to Government statistics. There is a huge stigma surrounding this problem, as well as on the people who suffer from it, which makes coping with the addiction harder.

Anne T. Donahue is a writer who has been sober for four years and has shared what she wishes people would stop asking her, in her newsletter That’s What She Said.


If you’re friend with a recovering-alcohol-addict and you are wondering if it is okay to drink at a bar, Donahue says you might unknowingly grate their nerves.

Most likely, that friend won’t ask you to stop drinking and they will get “hyper-aware” of the fact that they can’t drink. “If I really wanted to drink, I would walk into any restaurant, bar, liquor store, or supermarket and buy alcohol,” Donahue wrote.

Asking for the reasons somebody doesn’t drink is also inappropriate, as the question might lead to answers that are not comfortable – it could be anything from health issues to a secret pregnancy.

A recovering alcoholic might also not want to be questioned on whether they miss drinking or if they will ever drink again.

NHS advises that a person should visit their GP or get in touch with their local support service if they feel the need to drink often, if they get in trouble because of it, if others warn them they drink too much and if the amount of alcohol they are consuming is causing problems.

Daisy Wilder