Alcoholism: How to Be Part of the Solution

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

Being part of the problem


People with alcoholism often need help from 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 someone with alcoholism is called enabling. You may be doing this without even knowing it.

Letting it harm your own life

When you try to care for a loved one with alcoholism, it can be hard to live a normal life. This can be bad for your own mental health. It can also be harmful for children in the family.

Getting nowhere

If people keep the same behaviors that let alcoholism control their lives, things will never change. You have to stop being part of your loved one's problem. You must be part of the solution.

Being part of the solution

Don’t enable

You need to end the support that enables your loved one to drink. A good way to start is by letting your loved one know and understand the effects of their drinking. This can help them face reality. Encourage them to reduce or stop drinking. Also encourage them to get treatment, and to keep taking medicine that may be prescribed for their alcohol use disorder.

Two women sitting on couch talking.

Focus on your own needs

Stop letting your thoughts and actions be ruled by concerns about your loved one with alcoholism. You can then be free from that person’s illness. Start taking care of your own needs first. Then you can take steps toward a more normal life.

Get help

You can't help someone overcome their 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 behaviors. Getting guidance and support from others can be very helpful. Many people find family therapy or support groups helpful.

Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Paul Ballas MD
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2021
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