20 Ways To Help An Alcoholic Heal And Live Once More

Last Updated: December 16, 2019

The media is full of reports on how alcohol harms health and wrecks lives and potential. You read such stories every day. Unfortunately, these articles are “hitting too close to home,” because you are now seeing a loved one spiraling downward with his or her alcohol use issues. You are worried about his or her health. You are upset because you are witnessing precious talent being wasted. You are sad because your loved one is burning bridges with friends and family members and gradually retreating into a dark, murky, and lonely world. At AddictionResource, we understand this dilemma, which is why we’re publishing this article full of tips on how to help an alcoholic, especially one who doesn’t accept that he or she needs help.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction alcoholism statistics, more than 16 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder (AUD). But this particular article is not about them, or for them. This article is about and for YOU – the parent, the partner, the sibling, the adult child, or the friend of one of these millions of people who have an alcohol use disorder or are alcoholics. It contains some time-tested strategies for how to help someone with a drinking problem.
The 20 tips we pass along in this short How To Help Someone Stop Drinking Guide are not aimed at professional counselors or therapists, although these people can learn from them, too. Instead, these tips are aimed at YOU, an everyday person who is trying to help an alcoholic friend, or figure out how to help an alcoholic spouse, and thus provide help for alcoholics who don’t want help.

Discourage Drinking Behavior

This first set of tips should be a “no-brainer,” but often isn’t. One of the biggest challenges of how to get someone to stop drinking is curtailing your activities that subtly encourage that person to keep drinking.

man looking at his alcohol addicted wife
Often a family member or a close friend unknowingly becomes an enabler to an addict or someone who abuses alcohol. An enabler is a person who unwittingly creates opportunities so that a loved one can indulge in their addiction. Of course, their intention is not to fuel the addictive tendencies, but many people don’t realize that their seemingly harmless actions can backfire.
So to start, here’s a guide on what NOT to do to help an alcoholic:

DON’T cover up for them

When you cover up or make excuses for an alcoholic’s behavior, you unknowingly give them the idea that you approve of what they’re doing, or “have their back” when it comes to their unacceptable habits and actions. Besides, covering up is often an indication that you are probably in denial about your loved one’s alcoholism.

DON’T bail them out from jail

There are countless examples of an addict deciding to seek help in quitting alcohol after hitting rock bottom and realizing what a mess his or her life is in. So if he or she lands up in jail on DUI charges or for indulging in alcohol-related crimes, don’t bail them out. Let them realize how alcohol has taken over their lives and the hazards of the slippery slope they are hurtling down. This can be one of the hardest parts of how to help alcoholic friends or family, but it’s an essential one.

DON’T take over their responsibilities

When you take over an alcoholic’s duties, you permit them to pursue their addiction. They get the idea that you approve of their habits and that it is okay to carry on as they currently are. Don’t shield an alcoholic from the consequences of not carrying out his or her work, school, or family duties. Let them face the music, so they realize how alcohol is damaging their lives and relationships.

DON’T loan them money unless they have landed in a hospital

Alcoholism is an expensive habit to sustain. So the need for funds to maintain the addiction is always present. As sad as it may sound, an alcoholic will stoop to lying to obtain funds from you. They will invent lies like having to pay the rent (while probably spending their nights in bars and their days sleeping on park benches) or to buy groceries (when in reality they couldn’t care less about preparing and eating nutritious meals) to obtain money from you. If you are sure that a loved one is an alcoholic, DON’T loan him or her money unless he or she has landed in a hospital or recovery facility and needs funds to undergo some treatment.

DON’T take part in drinking sessions with an alcoholic friend or family member

Probably the number one tip on how to get an alcoholic to stop drinking is DON’T GO OUT DRINKING WITH THEM. When you take part in these drinking sessions, you encourage his or her habit. It doesn’t matter if you drink just a tiny bit of alcohol or even a Coca-Cola. An alcoholic will interpret your very participation in the drinking session as an endorsement of his or her addiction, a message that it’s OK.

Start With Your Mindset

Someone who has an alcohol use disorder is most likely to be in a denial mode. You won’t easily get him or her to accept that there is a problem, let alone work on solving it. On the other hand, someone who is an alcoholic doesn’t care about how he or she “should be” living and functioning.

man doing research writing down something with a pen

He or she just live from one drink to another.
This leaves just YOU to save a life.
How to make someone stop drinking? YOU are the only person who can make your child, partner, friend, parent, or sibling realize how they are destroying their lives.
How to support an alcoholic? YOU are the only person who can persuade your friend or a family member to accept the help that is just a call away.
These won’t be easy tasks to pull off. So make sure you approach the job with the right mindset.

Educate yourself on the nature of substance abuse or addiction

Knowledge is power. The more you learn about the nature of alcohol abuse and addiction, their neurological roots, and how alcohol works on the mind and psyche of a person who abuses alcohol, the more you can empathize with your loved one and understand what he or she is going through.

Be compassionate

Addiction is not a moral flaw. It is the result of a complex interplay between genes, hormones, and the environment. When you get the facts straight, you can be compassionate when you confront a loved one who is an alcoholic. Don’t take the moral high ground and make him or her feel like a loser. On the contrary, displaying compassion and understanding can encourage an alcoholic to confide in you about the stresses that may have made him or her seek refuge in drinking. Don’t blame yourself for somebody else’s drinking habits.
You can’t work on his or her genes. You can’t alter the way he or she reacts to the addiction triggers present in the environment. You are not responsible for a person choosing to carry on drinking or not seeking help. In fact, the more you blame yourself, the more stressed you can become. What is more, your loved one can manipulate you and work on your feelings of guilt to extract money out of you.

Decide beforehand what you want to say during the confrontation

Here’s when knowledge again comes into play. You may want to tell a loved one how alcohol is harming his or her physical and mental health. Or you may want to make him or her realize that addiction is just another disorder like diabetes or cancer that needs medical treatment.

Whatever you want to say during the confrontation, it helps if you plan. This ensures you can come up with the most persuasive statement. Preparation lets you go over what you want to say during the confrontation and ensure that you speak only from a place of compassion.

Adjust your expectations

Do not stress by expecting results right after the first meeting. Do not expect an alcoholic to call in on an addiction counselor or visit a rehab clinic right after talking with you.

Instead, believe that by confronting your alcoholic loved one, you are opening the channels of communication. You are giving him or her the chance to mull over the problem and feel motivated to quit alcohol. By showing that you care, you are assuring the person that you have only his or her best interests in mind. So in a later meeting, he or she will be more receptive to your suggestions.

How To Handle A Confrontation With An Alcoholic

Confronting an alcoholic is challenging. One thoughtless comment can send the person back to his or her world of demons and darkness. One misplaced remark can close the doors of communication forever. It is up to you to steer the confrontation, so you can persuade him or her to seek professional help to give up alcohol.

Mother Arguing With Teenage Son
Is confronting an alcoholic risky?
Confronting an alcoholic can be very risky if the confrontation is not adequately planned and prepared. One thoughtless comment can make the situation more difficult to handle. It will be harder to persuade the person to give up alcohol and seek professional help.
Here’s what you should keep in mind when you confront an alcoholic to ensure the interaction is healthy, and the outcome is favorable:

Choose a time when he or she is sober

The presence of alcohol in the system clouds thoughts and makes a person unable to think straight. So confronting an alcoholic when he or she is drunk is not a good idea. He or she will not be able to appreciate your motivations. Nor will the person be able to figure out what is right for him or her.

Don’t blame him or her

Do not turn the meeting into a blame game. If you are trying to help an alcoholic husband, don’t accuse him or her of being selfish. Same if you are trying to help an alcoholic wife, sibling, or adult child. Think for a moment. Would you blame someone for catching an infection or having cancer?

Hark back to what you learned about addiction and how quickly abuse turns into an addiction and be compassionate. Blaming an alcoholic will make him or her feel bitter and distraught. He or she might even drink more to quell the surge of negative emotions.

Let an alcoholic know how his or her actions are affecting you and the relationship you both share

Don’t use the accusatory “you” tone when you converse with an alcoholic. Instead, steer the conversation towards yourself. This will make the other person more comfortable and more willing to hear you out.

Explain to the person how his or her habits have affected you – the mental and emotional stress you are going through and the additional physical and economic burden that you have had to take on. Explain how his or her drinking habits have strained the relationship you share. If you are trying to help an alcoholic family member, gently point out how often he is not home or how she hardly cares about spending time with you or the kids.

Often alcoholics are swayed more by the effects of their addiction on their loved ones than those effects on their health or jobs.

Don’t fall for his or her promises to turn over a new leaf

A conversation about one’s drinking habits is uncomfortable, especially if the person is in denial mode. An addict might want to wiggle out of the conversation by (falsely) promising that he or she will give up alcohol. High-functioning alcoholics especially are known to be master manipulators.

Don’t fall for such promises, and instead leave them to their own devices. A good rule of thumb is “Listen to what they say, but watch what they DO.” Make sure that you follow up and are prepared to confront them once more if they don’t stick to their promises.

Keep Calm

A confrontation with an alcoholic can turn into a stressful situation for you too. An alcoholic might blame you for his or her addiction or suggest that you are blowing the situation out of proportion.

If an alcoholic is in a denial mode, he or she will have constructed rational-sounding reasons why they think you are over-reacting.

Also, remember that an alcoholic is someone who is physically dependent on alcohol; he or she has to drink to relax, to steady the nerves, and to feel that life is under control. For alcoholics, quitting alcohol means losing a companion or a refuge, not to mention having to go through several unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can make their lives feel like they are living in hell. It is no wonder that most alcoholics react aggressively at the mere suggestion that they stop drinking.

Be calm. Remember what you are doing – trying to help someone with an alcohol problem. Don’t make an alcoholic more aloof or hostile by spewing angry words yourself. You risk making him or her angry enough to walk away. If that happens, you may never be able to broach the subject with them again. Besides, if you are calm, the person in front of you may eventually calm down himself or herself, and then you will have succeeded in creating another window of opportunity to make your point.

Be prepared to seek the help of a professional interventionist

You can only try. After all, you are dealing with a human being. There is no formula to how his or her mind works. He or she may react to the same situation in different ways, depending on factors that can be as diverse and incomprehensible to you as to how their day went or when he or she had their last drink.

As someone you love and care for, it can be difficult for you to be firm or objective with him or her. As a result, you may not succeed in persuading your alcoholic friend or family member to seek professional help. Worse, you may even put him or her off from having another meaningful conversation on the subject forever. If things come to such a passé, don’t hesitate to call a professional interventionist.

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, an intervention is an educational session moderated by a professional and attended by the alcoholic and his or her family members and friends. During the meeting, the interventionist tries to make the alcoholic see the reality of his or her situation and make the person comprehend the consequences of carrying on drinking. An interventionist can make an alcoholic agree to embrace change and accept help.

Take Care Of Yourself

As astounding as it sounds, this is something that most people don’t pay attention to, and it can end up ruining their lives. How can you help someone else if you are yourself broken, and your life is in shambles?

couple breaking up after argument

The following four tips are even more critical if you are trying to help an alcoholic family member. Having an alcoholic in your life is stressful. It is imperative that YOU remain sane, safe, and healthy yourself to help your loved one tide through his or her problems. Here’s how you must take care of yourself:

Put boundaries on your relationship, or escape, if need be

If all means of persuasion fail, you have to put limitations on your relationship. It may sound harsh. You may wonder if you are doing the right thing by cutting ties. But sometimes people need a shake-up to change the status quo. Putting boundaries on your relationship might be the “reality check” that your alcoholic loved one needs to come to his or her senses and realize how alcohol has taken a toll on multiple lives.

Now here’s a reality check for you as well. No matter how much committed you are to helping a loved one overcome alcohol addiction, you HAVE to quit if the situation turns violent. Alcohol depresses inhibitions and clouds the senses, so alcoholics can become aggressive and turn violent if they sense a threat from you.

ESCAPE, if you feel you are in danger of being physically harmed (or have been damaged) by your alcoholic family member. You must be safe before you attempt to help a loved one.

Don’t become co-dependent

Don’t get so immersed in the process of supporting an alcoholic loved one that you find yourself being dragged along the dark path that he or she is traveling on. This is NOT one of the ways to help an alcoholic.

Counseling an alcoholic is an emotional rollercoaster ride where you, too, have to confront the loved one’s inner demons and come face-to-face with hidden waves of emotions – rage, jealousy, or hatred – that you never knew existed. It is difficult to stay sane if you are not objective.

Avoid being dragged into a co-dependent relationship in which you can no longer remain logical and can’t see the half-truths and distorted versions of reality coming from your loved one for what they are. If you sense this happening, back off and let a professional counsel your loved one. You should also seek professional help to resolve any co-dependency issue that you might have developed.

Don’t drink yourself as a means to escape the stress

Living with an alcoholic can be immensely stressful for you. Again, it may seem like a “no-brainer,” but one of the ways NOT to stop someone from drinking is to succumb to pressure and start drinking yourself.

An alcoholic spends money and upsets the domestic budget, and you have to worry about making ends meet. An alcoholic neglects his or her duties, and you feel compelled to forego your leisure to step in and take over. An alcoholic chooses alcohol over you and the relationship you share, and you wonder if it is the end of the road for both of you.

The stress can get to anyone, but DON’T drink to escape your woes. Find a healthy way to cope. Remember, you have to be strong yourself to help the person you love to heal.

Seek emotional support to help you get through the stress

You have taken on the challenge of helping a loved one become sober. It was always going to be a stiff task. Don’t get bogged down by the stress and strain; seek emotional support from people who had been in the same place as you are now.

Often one of the best answers to the question of “How do you help an alcoholic? Is to get some help yourself. If there is no one you know personally to help, join a 12-step program such as Al-Anon, one that is designed specifically to help the friends and family members of alcoholics.

Having someone to confide in about what you are going through, a shoulder to cry on, and a sounding board to run your decisions by will take a load off your mind and lift some of the heaviness from your heart.

Caring enough to go through the anguish, anxiety, doubts, and turmoil of helping an alcoholic heal is the greatest help you can offer someone who is broken. The journey always starts with you. You have to be enlightened, empathetic, compassionate, and strong. You have to be a master strategist, astute planner, and thorough executioner. Of course, you cannot be a professional counselor or therapist to an alcoholic yourself, but you have to pull off something equally challenging – getting him or her to seek professional help in the first place.

Kudos to you for choosing to care!

Page Sources

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

Published on: March 9th, 2018

Updated on: December 16th, 2019

About Author

Juliette Siegfried, MPH

Juliette has been working in the health communications field since 1991, when she began working at the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Her initial campaigns focused on smoking cessation and cancer prevention. Juliette later moved to the corporate side of health communications, including working at Kaiser Permanente, where she designed interactive computer-based training for health education.


Leave a comment

  • Ghata Dustin
    Hi My name is Gee. I am living in Australia. I read your blog, i think i need help to help myself from my alcoholic husband. I have tried each and everything that is mentioned in this blog to help him to control his alcohol. He has been gone through lots of problem because of this issue. At work he has been given last warning because He drinks whole night and go to work in the morning. He has destroyed our relationship emotionally and physically by unacceptable activities and affairs. Lots of problems that i could not help myself and get upset. I think i am almost under depression mode. Many times i fee to suicide. But that will not change anything. I really need help Or else i dont know what will i do. I hate him sometimes and i feel bad that i am not able to do anything for him. Please help me Gee
    • Karena
      Dear Gee, I must tell you.you sweet girl I am sorry. I have gone thru this and wanted to fix my husband. It never happened. So after years, I left him. And I am free and healed happy and healthy. He kept on this path and is very sick,broke and an outcast still refusing help. We only get o e life, make yours your own.muck love
    • Karen
      Al anon is a wonderful resource that might help you
  • Eileen Kelleher
    Me, I’m finally getting out. I drove from Colo to Florida to be with rge love of my life only to experience lies and broken promises. Cant do it anymore. At my age I deserve happiness. I know where shes coming from because I was once there, but I’ve been clean a d silver for 25 years.
  • Emily Espinoza
    My brother and best friend are alcoholics. They are also bitter towards any enlightenment and often mock me since I am a believer of God. I never use God in my conversations with them because they get upset but they always use Him when they are drunk and try to make me feel bad about my belief. I ignore it and change the subject but I realize I have not tried to comfort them on thier alcoholism and how they hurt me when they are drunk and always make what I believe wrong when they are the ones ruining their life. They drive drunk and act like it’s funny and make jokes about it but I’m just left worried out of mind. I never seem to get the chance to speak with them sober because they are ALWAYS drunk. I feel at risk while with them because I dont feel they realize their carelessness and the harm they put others in. I have been around bad fights because of their drinking with their own partners and it’s always everyone else’s fault. They have made even other family members and friends drink excessively and love that they can make others fall with them. I dont know what to do. Or how to bring in the big picture when all they are is drunk.
  • Susan
    I divorced my husband because he liked drinking and doing prescription medication. The same year I took in my older sister who is as bad as my ex husband. What is wrong with me, I retire in 3 months this is not the way I plan on spending my retirement. She gets to step 7 of her 12 steps and goes back to drinking more than ever. She has an small income but spends it all on her drinking. She has to live with me no one else will have her.
  • Carolhyn Hare
    Useless information. Heard it all before. I am not a god-damned co-dependant. I live and breathe working consistently on a healthy lifestyle of exercise, diet, and choosing loving and kindness over judgement and condemnation. I encourage those patterns in everyone I know and especially my family members. They all think I live in a fantasy worlds. They have always discouraged my healthy choices, especially my son. He fluctuates between agreement and, “It is all about mind-set. Nothing to do with the body” attitude. Also, since my income is far below poverty level, I have and he has no insurance, recently losing his last opportunity toward a stable income because he has been so sick as a result of the alcohol consumption. Unable to work because of the swelling and pain interfering in breathing, decided an emergency room visit was necessary. The nurse practitioner on duty, after viewing the MRI and CT, delivered the devastating news of “Cirrhosis”, adding, ” one more drink will possibly kill you.” He tested that by walking to the liquor store, and purchasing a 775 mil of vodka. He lost the job he loved because he was unable to work a full day. The insurance had just validated on the day his employer delivered the news that he was “let go”. I listen respectfully as he pours his concerns and worries. I encourage him to follow the advice of the doctor, “No more alcohol. Stay away from those “friends who encourage drinking, etc”. All to no avail. As I am writing this, he is visiting with one of those “friends”. Although, he assures me that is not the case. Since my income is limited, I do not possess the resources to pay for any rehabilitation service. That is the sad and sickening reality of the “poor”. Undeterred, I perserve. My health, age and position in this money hungry society places me in the position of harsh judgement and sabatage from the benefit I truly offer and the service to others I offer expectating nothing in return. Just venting. I know nothing will change, just felt the need to defend my position. I despise any type of dependence, especially drug use. I have Fibromyalgia, and use only an anti-inflammatory diet and stretching routine/yoga exercise to aid in controling the pain and discomfort. Blessings to all who have the ability to pay. And, thank you for allowing me to “vent”.
    • Nina
      Hang in there everyone dealing with this. I just ended a relationship this week after nearly 6 years because he is an alcoholic. He blamed all the problems and fights on me, but the bottom line is that the alcoholism killed the relationship. He’s been married 3 times. He has sucked the life out of me. I could never trust him, I think he lies about everything and he’s sneaky, disappears, the whole routine. The same thing happened with my ex husband, who was also an alcoholic. I promised myself I would never get into this again after surviving that nightmare. But I went right back to it with this guy. Interestingly, I don’t drink at all, very rarely. I am a nurse, which I think attracts these men to me. But after all this, I know I have to keep my own sanity and care for myself. I will not get back into this ever again. Painful lesson. I loved this man with all my heart and at one point, deluded myself into thinking we had a future together.
      • Cynthia
        Please, any advice will be so appreciated. I have been married 37 yrs. met him when17. Have 2 children. The last 10 yrs. have been hell-he falls down, broke nose, shows up with scabbed eyebrow, totaled car in a pond almost drowned, treatment 3x plus hospital bills car towing ect. excuses for back, his ear- had surgeries since 25 now has implant and right side hearing aid. He works at cousins farm 2 hrs. away how convenient. So, I have been stuck out in the middle of nowhere with no car and no money. So, I got a OWI? Have no car no money to get temporary license or SRI paying for mine too.Thinking of moving out of state, children only keep in touch with me, family isn’t much help, sell house? If I leave he will die. I just can’t do it anymore. I know my anxiety and fear are affecting my health and other relationships. I pray everyday. God help me figure this out..
        • Nadine
          Children come first. Take them and leave. Your children and you deserve a nice life.
        • TATI
          Dear Cynthia, I was in the same situation for over 20 years ..My husband is an alcoholic and I felt I am going through the hell and I didn;t KNOW why … I know how you feel… I understand your PAIN. I felt I was not good enough, I felt I wasn’t doing right things that made him upset or angry and go to the bottle. I was so much in pain..I was blaming myself and I was so lonely because I was ashamed of it. You are not alone – it is a terrible thing … He is sober for 5 years now email me if you want to know what happened I wish I could help anyone with that may be if you know my story you can find some clues … anyways wish you the best luck and be God with you at all times
          • Janet
            Sober for 5 years I can’t even imagine. My husband of 29 years has been drunk 4 to 5 nights a week for the last 15. I can’t take it anymore. What kills me is when we are together all weekend he is fine. We have vacationed with friends and he is fine – for 7 days at a time. It’s mostly during the work week and always at night (after 5 or 6 pm). Thursday night was a doozy. He was scaring the crap out of me falling down, knocking things over. We have so much to be grateful for two great kids, an amazing extended family. I love his family and he loves mine. I know he is mortified the day after and I believe that he is unable to stop. But he won’t really follow through with getting the help he needs and that’s a deal breaker for me. I can’t spend the rest of my days waiting between crazy drunk episodes for the cirrhosis or cancer diagnosis. Two out of seven days of normal isn’t going to do it for me anymore. Life is too short. I have supported him every way I know how and he’s just dragging me down. I hate who I have become. I say the meanest things sometimes just to shock him out of it or something. On my good days I try to be supportive and help him research people and facilities that might help. Doesn’t matter, doesn’t work. Nothing works. I don’t wish anything bad for him, I just need to get away from the constant chaos. I need to feel normal again.
      • Nic
        Wow Nina I feel like I am right there mirroring your story….how did you find the strength to leave the 2nd relationship?
    • Barbara
      I completely understand where your coming from.I don’t have the $ to leave but worry everyday that his bad choices are going to leave me with nothing.He refuse help and even if he wanted it we could not afford it!At our age on a fixed income it’s cheaper to stay married.Tired of living between a rock and a hard place!
    • Bh
      Yeah U are.
  • Hillary
    I am ready to have a conversation with my alcoholic family member but they are almost never sober. Is having the conversation no longer an option? Where do I go from here when I can’t find the opportunity to try?
  • Fiona
    Hi everyone, there is an answer. Its not rehab and AA. I was an alcoholic, I destroyed my life and impacted my childrens. 5 years ago I was at rock bottom and my psychiatrist prescribed Naltrexone. It is a miracle solution. One tablet a day for 6-12 months and in most cases alcohol dependence is overcome. I no longer depend on alcohol. If I do have a drink socially I never get drunk and never lose rationalisation. I am now able to drink responsibly. I am in Australia and Naltrexone is on the PBS.
  • Jennifer
    I’m tired of living with an alcoholic who makes excuses for his drinking and poor behavior. When he starts to drink it’s in excess and he is embarrassing to be around, but even worse is having to go home with him drunk. He is aggressive and argumentative. This is not fair or healthy for me and my two daughters to live with. I want their daddy to be around for them, but not have them grow up to thinking husbands drink and then behave this way towards their wife is normal. It’s not! They deserve better. I feel helpless. His alcoholism is ruining our marriage and our family.
    • Jenn
      The best thing you can do is to leave . Take your kids and go. I was with my alcoholic husband for 20+ years . 13 of those years were married with children. It took about 6-8 months after we left for my children to stop hiding in their rooms like they had been used to. They always tell me that they wish we had left sooner . 3 years later they are happy and well adjusted but they have nothing to do with their father . And not because I won’t let them . It is their choice . They got tired of being the only ones trying like I’m sure you are . It took me about 4 or 5 months to figure out who I was . All I had known was that I was a “servant to the king” and a mother . I had no identity of my own because everything I was went into appeasing him and making sure he was happy . Looking back that was just me trying to pretend that everything was fine still . If they are old enough to know what’s going on then they are sick of constantly getting cut down by him so that they go away quickly and then he is left to his own thoughts or tv watching in peace . That’s not fair to the kids . I’m sure one of your kids probably has anxiety and the other gets mad very quickly . Message me if you would like to talk more
      • Bethany
        Hi Jenn, I would love to talk to you. I have a child and an alcoholic husband of 21 years. I would love to ask you some questions.
  • Nikki
    My father is an alcoholic has been since I was a child. He was violent , bad tempered and I just remember being scared of him . Even as an adult I still feel that way even though the violence has stopped , he still drinks and it just a very un happy home . He doesn’t think he has a problem and the reasons for drinking are because of us , apprantly we do not show him enough respect . He’s a very traditional asian man where he believes his children should respect him even though he doesn’t realise he never has respected his family or looked after us . He’s very selfish and as a result I have had to haveCBT as I’m going through many issues that have stemmed from his drinking and the general environment in which I grew up in. I feel guilty for it but I actually do not feel like helping him . Am I a bad daughter for feeling this way?. His health is suffering and his life has been ruined a long with all of ours , however I cannot face to have a conversation with him, one we have tried to have many times without letting my feelings of anger get in the way. I would rather just someone else do it .
  • Marcia
    My son 33 year old son is alcoholic. It started in college. His first agrivated dwi ar 25 second a felony dwi at 28. Has lost 3 jobs in his field. The last one 3 months ago. He will probably never work in his field again. He will do nothing but drink 24 hours a day for weeks doesn’t even eat. He is killing himself. We see him every day since he lives in an apt above our business. We were very happy when he decidc to cobra after he lost this last job. Looked into rehab was there 2.5 week. Stopped to see his PO and started drinking the minute he was out and hasn’t stopped it has been a week now.
    • Sunny
      Hey Marcia your story is so familiar . I have an alcoholic daughter who is 33 also started drinking in college . She graduated from Princeton ! She is broke no job lost everything! Drinks all day ! I could tell you some horror stories ! It’s made my life a living hell ! She has been in three rehabs been in the hospital 2 times with pancreatitus . No insurance ! I thought she hit rock bottom many times but no ! I know what you are going thru ! All we can do is pray my daughter should. Have been dead ! But with people prayers God has pulled her tthru ! Please take care of your self ! We can’t control them they have to decide it’s sooooo hard watching them go thru this . My daughter was a sweet beautiful girl ! Now she doesn’t hardly bathe ! It’s a very hard thing to see ! Just thought I would let you know you are not ALONE !
      • Tina Jaramillo
        Just read your post..I’m in same situation with my 28 yr old son..I feel helpless as im in social and hr is in North Dakota..im constantly a nervous wreck..always worried..I fear he is going to die from this disease. I dont know where to start to try and help him understand how serious the situation is..so sad thinking of him being so sad to poison his body and hurt himself in this way. Thinking of just going to ND and making him come home so I can be near him in case bad things happen..I know it’s not healthy to think like that..but I’m at with end..sad to say but sometimes I wish he would arrested so at least I know he would be safe to an extent…horrible disease to deal with..makes me I’ll thinking he will never get sober..broken hearted I am to say the least..Tina
    • Gale
      I am also in this same situation. My son is 34. His health was suffering terribly. He is in rehab right now. He has only been there for 1 1/2 weeks and now wants to leave. He is blessed with so many friends supporting him and an employer paying for the entire rehab. I love my son so much, but I have to tell him that if he leaves, he cannot come home. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m praying that he is strong enough to stay there and that I’m strong enough to stick to my word.
    • Elizabeth
      Hi! I have a 33yr old son that is an alcoholic. It has been going on for approx. 12 years. He now has alcohol induced psychosis and the beginning stages of sciroccos. I have tried everything imaginable to get him help. He has been in every hospital, mental facility, and rehab in my area…he gets out and within 2 days he is right back to drinking. He has been in jail several times for alcohol and drug related issues. He doesn’t eat, sleep, work, bathe, or anything when he is like this and the frequency of his drinking as accelerated to the point that he will sober up long enough to go make some money and then he is right back to the drinking. The last time it was only 2 weeks that he stayed sober enough to make money. As difficult as it is…I have finally realized this is killing ME!!! He doesn’t care how this is affecting my health or how it is affecting our family. I have 3 other daughters…we hardly get together anymore as a family because the pain of him missing is so hard. I have finally, told him that until he gets help and decides to change the drinking, I cannot talk to him anymore, he cannot come to my house or contact me. He can get violent when he is in psychosis. I pray for him continually, and I think about him continually, but I cannot continue down this path that HE has chosen. Somedays I almost give in and try to find him…but deep down I know his only chance of ever coming out of this disease is for me to disconnect and let him go. Please pray for me that I will heal and that I will remain strong for myself and my family.
  • Sarah
    I just lost my mom to alcoholism Sunday June 2nd 2019. Just a week and a half ago. My family and I tried for years to help her. She was an alcoholic ever since I was a kid. Parents were recently going through divorce, then my mom got a restraining order against my Dad. I was living with my mom. I tried hard to help her any way I could but to no avail. She started smoking in the house, and let the dishes mold in the sink etc. It became unlivable to stay there so I moved in with my Dad. She was in complete denial and she would hide her alcohol from me since she knew I didn’t like her drinking. Her health got really really bad from all her drinking and not taking care of herself. I just feel horrible because I feel like I failed her. Or I wasn’t persistent enough. I wish I sought out a professional sooner. But my mind just thought Oh it’s just mom drinking again, I got so used to it. And for some reason, my brain didn’t think that alcohol could harm someone as much as it did my mom. Lots of regret. Very complicated situation but that’s the gist.
  • Mary
    Hello, I am at the end of the rope an need help.. My husband drinks everyday after work. He gets up early and goes to work, comes home, and makes dinner (lately he buys take out food); however he drinks to the point that when I get home from work and asks him about any thing related to chores around the house, he gets very upset and aggressive. He abuses me verbally. Most of the time hen I come home he has already passed out of drinking and he is sleeping. I find myself afraid to say anything just to avoid fights, but sometimes I can’t help it m we end up fighting. There is not a day of the week that he does not drink and this situation is bringing me down. The worst part of this situation is that he got our 24 year old son into drinking.. Now my son drinks almost every night and becomes incoherent. I have tried to talk to him to no avail. He also becomes aggressive and verbally abusive . I don’t know what to do. I feel. Powerless and depressed. Some times I feel that my best bet is to. commit suicide. Please help!
    • Ricky
      Hi Mary I seen your story and I am sad to hear that u feel that way I was married for 25 years to a woman that is an alcoholic and tried to hide it while I work two jobs and she stayed home I am divorced of 2019 it sucks to have to start over at 55 a piece of mind is priceless our children are grown far as I understand she still drinking vodka like water all I can do is pray for her you can call and talk to me anytime you need a person to vent to my name is Ricky I am retired from after working two jobs for the wrong person that never would except help because The alcohol was more important now she’s at rock bottom I just pray for her and I would like to pray for you too. please no suicide, we can fellowship and remember God loves you. My name is Ricky and I pray you have a blessed night and a beautiful day tomorrow. I’m praying for you and your family
    • Mk
      It’s so tough reading these posts I’m dealing with with a family member drinking as well. My only advise I have is to find a Chapel that has adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and spend time there with Jesus. He’ll help you. Male visits frequently if possible. Also pray to St.Rita. She went through similar situations.
  • Mike Sanchez
    my daughter 38 years old needs help, she has been in 2 to 4 days treatment but I believe she needs to be taken in for a much longer time and get professional help. Her husband has been very, very supportive of her but he’s asking us to help, as he cant o much anymore. She has a 4 year beautiful girl so ,please advise what options you guys can offer ?.
    • Beth
      My 37 year old son lives with us. He often takes steroids and when he does he often also resorts to drinking. He has been in and out of 3 outpatient programs by saying the right things and being substance free just long enough to graduate. He can be extremely rageful and verbally abusive to myself and I have most care of his 8 year old son, who believe it or not, he has custody of.He is extremely down on himself and talks about being worthless….he just lost his job that he loved for missing work and being tired and unproductive.I know he is depressed and suicidal but this goes on every so often. I blocked him from my phone as I don’t like his abusive language. But I know he is drinking and driving and something may happen that he hurts himself or someone else. so tiring
  • Johnny McCarron
    I like how you mentioned that you can’t help someone else if you yourself are broken. It’s like putting on an oxygen mask on a plane. In any case, my cousin is thinking of checking into a sober living clinic so that plenty of helpers can help him get on his oxygen mask.
    • Louise
      Hi, I feel the same as many of you, I love my alcoholic partner so much but he’s destroying me and my hope for our future. Sober, he really wants to change but just doesn’t manage to carry it through to the next drinking urge. I am working so many hours and he does manage to work sometimes. I am running out of energy and have noone with energy left to support me. I just hunt for hope. I have lost my son too to alcohol and drugs before meeting my partner.
  • Linda
    My alcoholic husband just flipped me off because I took away his set of keys to my car. I am 71 and my husband is 73. We have been married 35 years. He was sober for 10 years after 1.5 years in jail for several dui’s. After his release, he became involved in the community, got involved in charity work, and things were going good until he slipped up this past year. He is now right back where he started and his drinking and sneaking out to drink is getting worse. We have a daughter living in another state that is unable to help and has her own situation. I have little support here where I live. He has a SUV that he can drive, but takes my car for better gas mileage. He has lost his mother and 2 close friends these past two years, however, my mind says that is no excuse for his drinking behavior. When I call him on it, he turns the tables and says I am treating him like a dog. Not treating him like a dog, just wanting him to stop drinking before we are financially ruined…or he has a bad accident driving while drunk. I am at a loss as to what to do, did not see me living this way as I grow older.
  • May
    Just reading and can relate to so many comments. I have been married 32 years next month. Have 2 wonderful grown children and 2 grandchildren. My husband has had a drinking problem our entire marriage. I have tried everything I know or have read to get him help and he continues to believe he doesn’t have a problem…he enjoys drinking. I have been told regardless of how it makes me feel he will not stop “enjoying himself”. Every evening after work he is drinking and most nights to the point of passing out. He is a happy drunk but stumbles and slurs his words and can’t even remember a conversation we had the night before. He golfs every weekend and I stay home or with grandchildren. He does not want to do anything if it means he can’t drink. I am in a dark place myself and feel like there is more to like than working outside my home, cleaning house, taking care of everything and getting no enjoyment out of life other than my children and grandchildren. As I’m getting older I want to be with someone who wants to enjoy being with me and not a can of beer or 24. I welcome any advise.
  • Lisa
    My 26 year old son is a sever alcoholic. He been abusing alcohol since he was 19. He’s been to rehab a few times but has never been willing to get sober. He stays in his car or where ever. I beg him to go back to rehab but he refuses. My husband and other children seem to have given up hope. The fact is we don’t even know him sober. I’m so scared and I cry every time I have to see him. He makes me so very depressed. I too am loosing hope.
  • Amy
    Hi everyone, I know this is the toughest situation for everyone dealing with loved ones addictions, I feel for each and everyone of you! ((Hugs)) to all who prob need one right now. The one thing I have learned thru all these years of my brother being an alcoholic is that they have to want to get help for themselves and alot of times they don’t. You can try and talk to them, even threaten them with consequences or to get help or to stop but if they don’t want it; it just doesnt work. I’m sad just thinking abt that because you unfortunately can’t help someone who doesnt want help. They will lie to no end and make excuses to just get you to leave them alone and not deal with confrontation. Please if you have children any of you, please get them out of that environment quickly; its not healthy for them to witness that all the time or you! Ask a family member or friend if you can stay with them till you can figure it all out, if you don’t have the financial means to go yourself. We have been thru alot in this journey with him and so far no luck but i still have hope he will hit his rock bottom and decide to stop on his own. It is an emotional rollar coaster one that is not easy and is very draining not only mentally but physically… He has been to 3 different rehabs, 3 counselor’s only because my parents made him or he cldnt live there. 2 of three were very short and he followed some of the steps for abt 1-2 weeks then back to drinking every day… all differnt with how they do things, and I will say the last one was the most promising and had a great program, he only did it for his gf cuz she broke up with him.That lasted 2 weeks and back to the same routine. This is the key to changing/stoping that worked for two of my friends who are clean and sober 3yrs now but wanted help and to stop. 1.) Wanting the help, following thru with the steps given. 2.) going to meetings for the long run. 3.) A support system 4.) Changing habits and routines that caused triggers to drink. 5.) This should of been first and is most helpful and most programs offer a spiritual journey of having God in your life.with IMy 2 friends that were huge alcoholics and even one who was an alcoholic/drug addict are both clean and sober 3 yrs now living happy healthy lives by using all the tools provided that they got from a rehab place that my brother just went to and was a great program. IThey have a relationship with God and it really has helped turned their life around for the better. So be encouraged that if they really want to stop and want help it can change their life for rhe better it requires alot of work and self-discipline… Al-anon is a great help for those trying to get answers and how to cope and deal with an addict Having support with others to share and learn. .Long story short my brother has tried to commit suicide twice now, is on a downward spiral with his heavy drinking and just uses excuses and blames all of us and is abt to loose gf #3 due to his addiction. Its a toxic cycle to experience when all you do is try to save your lost one but all seems to fail. I don’r think i can take much more and I seriously feel he is so lost and is going to die due to his addiction. He has already been told his liver enzymes are thru the roof and to stop and not take one more drink but he doesnt care and even says he wants to die and is so depressed all the time…
    • Lisa
      Thank you Amy. Your brother is my son so I appreciate your story which I’m always too sad to tell. what scares me the most is the brain damage. I’m no doctor but I feel at some point the brain of a serve alcoholic is incapable of recovery. I have whached my son change so much. I pray I’m wrong. I’m so scared.
      • Maggie
        Lisa, I am going through the same thing with my 27 yr old alcoholic son. Never drank till he started working in financial area NYC. He is full blown alcoholic, yet is in denial. We have tried and tried to do what we can to help him. Waiting now stressed out where he is, awaiting him home from California away for a few days. Maybe to drink and get away from us, his parents…..where does it end? Never had any trouble with him growing up, had good dad, involved with his sports and now as we get ready to retire, we are dealing with this. Heart breaking for all of us!
        • Lisa
          There’s an update on our son. After a few hard nights of drinking at a holtel he thought he had broken his hand. A friend was so kind and took him to the hospital and because of his very drunken crazy state of mind they had to put a hold on him and keep him. The detox was able to start and the next day I was able to bring him to a rehab. The brain damaged is very real and his hand was not broken. Please keep trying. When they can’t.
      • MaryAnn
        Hi Lisa, I have the same nightmare. My 49 y.o son is slowly dying each day from this horrible disease. I have done it all…money, pleading, anger, threats, etc. nothing works as well we all know. I’m physically and mentally sick and exhausted. He has caused so much heartache to everyone in the family, I’m the only one left who hasn’t turned away. He accuses me and everyone for causing his problems and I honestly don’t know fact from fiction anymore when he tells me I did something or said something that was a major factor in causing instability in his life and so he self mediates to ease the pain. I have offered to go to therapy with him and do whatever it takes to make him well. Each day I wake up I wait for the crisis to come. I fear the phone call. What will it be? Police, hospital or worse. I pay for his health care insurance so he will get some physical care because I know he is in need of seeing a doctor at the very least. He hasn’t done that. Should I be surprised? I feel his brain is so damaged by the alcoholism he will never be the same even if he stopped drinking. We are all hurting and I pray God gives us courage and strength because this is very hard to handle.
  • Carol Urban
    The information presented by Addiction Resource on this page is extremly helpful. The beginning process to helping and healing for the family is explained in a way all can understand. We are in the process of trying to help our daughter and her children deal with an alcholic and the complications this disease has caused. Thank you
  • Jimmy Vivas
    Hi my wife who I love so much has gone to that dark place (drinking) We have 2 beautiful boys 14 and 13 And lately due to depression in getting nick backs from jobs she has started drinking more and more I could never leave her nor my children nor take them away from her She’s in a very bad place I don’t know what to do, the worst thing in life is watching them slowly killing them self’s it’s painful Also she admits she needs help but then BOOM SHES DRUNK AGAIN it’s killing us as a family my boys don’t understand and want her gone which kills me I’m in a good place in mindset due to being strong for my boys And of late I’ve tried understanding her depression and drinking habits What can I do to help my SOULMATE MY DARLING WIFE AND MOTHER OF MY CHILDREN IM DESPITE IN GETTING HER BACK
    • David
      Hi Jimmy, I am going through the exact same thing you are. For me, it is getting harder and harder everyday. Just know your not the only one going through this.
    • Chantal Love
      Hi Jimmy, Is there an update with your wife? It’s been 5 months. I have read dozens of these comments and most all of them I can relate with on some level. However, your post really spoke to me because of your sons. I have two sons 14 & 16 and pleaded with me for years to leave or have my fiancé leave. My boys have grown up with him since they were 4&6. I have exhausted all avenues of support and wanting to show him how this is killing him and destroying our family. In November, I started therapy, Al anon meetings. I decided that if my Beau does not leave that it will cause life long damage to my children. They have a higher risk of becoming alcoholics or addicts themselves and if he chooses to drink that choice can no longer negatively impact us. I got him an extended stay hotel where he can have one of our cats to care for and is basically an emotional support, changed the house locks and have spoken to him, whenever he is not drunk. He still is drinking daily, is at risk of losing his job and I am no longer enabling or helping him continue this destructive habit. Once he was gone, the house was so much lighter. We can have meals together and talk without having to care for him being plastered to the point of passing out. Most of all my children understand how hard this was but that I CHOSE to care and love them as they are CHILDREN. They deserve that. I am slowly getting stronger and more comfortable with “letting go” as that really is in the best interest of everyone. Three people’s lives should not be destroyed over the choice of one person no matter who it is. I pray that things are better and you’re NOT in the same place as you were five months ago. The brain trauma PTSD that occurs for us partners or for our children is real. Praying for you and your sons. Chantal L.
  • Joan
    Hi I have just started Al Anon, and I think I will benefit alot from it. I have been surrounded by alcoholics my whole life it seems. My mother was a bad one. I have sisters who drink way too much. But the one that is upsetting me is one of my sisters. She and i were the closest. We talked for hours and hours on how much we hated the effects of alcohol. About 5 years now, she has turned into one. I do not know how to handle this. I have backed away from her, as it makes me so very sad and so angry. But the other sisters, have still rallied around her. So, now, I look like the bad one, as i no longer want to be in with them. I just cannot. I do not know how to act, or what to say around her. I miss her so terribly. She looks like a skeleton, has recently lost her job (which was babysitting her granddaughter) because she fell asleep from drinking all weekend, and her 2 year old granddaughter walked out of the house and crossed the street. This angers me so much, but everyone is treating it like “oh, she made a mistake…” I do not know what to do. I will continue to go to Al Anon, and will hopefully get something out of it, but still not getting how to act or what to say…..
  • Ms protopunk
    Hi Been with my partner for five years.. I’m currently struggling and off work with fibromyalgia… Awaiting appointment at hospital to rule out ms as symptoms worsening. I’m sole breadwinner and literally worked myself into ground…work in events, as well as day job…while my alcoholic partner sits on his butt and drinks(( I’m teetotal)).. He insists I transfer practically every penny into his account… Books holidays, spends MY money as he likes.. Lives rent free in my house.. Does nothing but watch TV… Because I’m poorly my income has gone down.. Cant treat myself even a little… Never get a thank you, even told I look nice….nothing…except when he wants to go on holiday((more pub visits!!)) I want to leave and go to my own town but I’ve been bled dry…my fault I know for not being stronger!!!! Feel sucked dry physically and emotionally…. I’m planning to register for university course in home town in January … Make most of my skills…and leave… No support here at all… He had mooched (pre meeting me) with variety of his friends…living at there place till they found him a burden… He says he loves drinking….I hate it! Feel rather lost
  • Sharon Lee
    I have been combing the internet for help in understanding my alcoholic son. Thank you so much for your blog on this subject. This was the best information that I found and hit right on, what I’m going through with my adult son who lives with me. I’m at my end right now and I now see that I’ve been enabling him for a long time. I now have a different approach to this problem. I intend to send this link to my other children and we now have some hope. Thank you.
  • John jarvis
    I have a 55 yr old son alcoholic, unable to work, no income, no insurance, killing himself with drinking, what can possibly be done, needs help badly
  • Carla Halifax
    For 2 years now we have working to help get our daughter back on course. She and her adult son (who suffers from the alcoholism affects), both live us. She was hauled, lived in a rehab facility and had been sober for almost a year. She’s now drinking again and I have lost hope and gave her 90 days to find a place to live. Have I done the right thing?
  • Shirley Teller
    My son is dying from alcohol. I dont kno what to do anymore.they just found him laying in my apt hallway.cant do it no more.
  • Rachel bowskill
    I am having serious problems with an ex who is a severe alcoholic and thief and has major mental issues. As I type this he is currently in my garden and won’t leave me alone. He is also a Compulsive lier and hasn’t washed for near on a month. He verbally abuses me and emotionally and mentally abuses me as well. He also stalks me.
  • Wamzy
    This was helpful. Its not easy for me as am the caring type.
  • Elaine Bowens
    I’ve done it all,he won’t change and don’t care ,talk to him about love kids , grandkids drink more lies on Bible I can’t do anymore I’m disabled and just can’t do it anymore,he needs to live
  • Karen
    Im at the end. My son is an alcoholic and is living with me and driving me insane. He hates me I tried to make him leave and I made the mistake of getting angry and telling him to move out of my house. Since then he ignores me, told me he wishes I would die, he has my house a mess and yard a mess with his beer cans everywhere. He destroys my house. He will not move out. He is 40 and holds down a job but I cannot go on with being hated and ignored in my own home. I am at the end of my rope.
  • Rosie
    My brother is a alcoholic. He is so far gone he hasn’t bathed in a year. He lives with mom. I came to stay with mom ( she is 91) several 9 months ago to care for her. Brother is unable to do anything anymore. Stays in his room drinking constantly. Can we get him committed?