Alcoholism: How to Be Part of the Solution

Family members can play a part in helping a loved one stop drinking. It may mean changing some of their own behavior. This can help their family member with recovery. Read below to learn more.

Woman having a serious discussion with a man.

Being part of the problem


People with alcoholism often need the help of others to keep drinking. They may need people to make excuses for them. They may need people to rescue them and take care of them. Giving this kind of help to a person with alcoholism is known as “enabling.” Family members may do this without even knowing it.

Letting it harm your own life

When a family member tries to care for a person with alcoholism, it can be hard to live a normal life of his or her own. This can be bad for his or her own mental health. This can also harm the lives of children in the family.

Getting nowhere

As long as people stick to the behaviors that allow alcoholism to control their lives, they are on a treadmill that never stops. To get off this treadmill, family members have to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

Being part of the solution

Don’t enable

Family members need to end the support that enables the person with alcoholism to drink. A good way to start is by letting the person know and understand the effects of his or her drinking. This can help him or her face reality.

Focus on your own needs

Family members can stop letting their thoughts and actions be ruled by concerns about the person with alcoholism. They can then be free from that person’s illness. By taking care of their own needs first, they can make progress toward a more normal life.

Get help

A family member cannot help someone overcome his or her alcoholism alone. There is help for those who can accept it. Learning how to deal with the disease may mean new ways of thinking. It may mean learning new behavior. Family members can be greatly helped by the guidance and support of others.