How can family members help a person who is out of control with their alcohol drinking?


Stop hiding the problem. If you have been keeping it a secret, stop doing so. Tell other close family members, the family doctor, your family priest, others in a good position to provide real help and support. If everyone close to the scene or who can provide real help knows about it, then the problem can be faced.

  • Assemble support. Plan to talk to the alcohol-addicted person with whichever family members they respect the most and who can be the calmest.


  • Don’t try to talk to the person when he or she has been drinking or when they are highly stressed. Find a time when they are sober and as untroubled as possible. For most drinkers, this is early in the day.


  • As a calm, non-accusative team, confront the person with the damage being caused to the person, the family and other areas (job, business, finance, community, career) by the drinking. Be specific but as patient and uncritical as you can be. However, do not back down or sympathize.


  • If this is the first time you have confronted the alcoholic on their behavior, then you can consider whether or not to give them a chance to quit drinking on their own. If the drinking has gone on for some years, it is practically certain that the body of the alcoholic will be so addicted to alcohol that the person will be unable to quit on their own.


  • If the person has already been given a chance to quit and has failed and perhaps also provided plenty of excuses as to their failure, then this is the time to talk about an alcohol rehab facility.


  • If the alcoholic refuses to talk about going to rehab, the family will have to agree on the next steps to take. They may include refusing to bail the person out of legal, financial, professional or personal problems. If the person has been being housed for free, the family may have to agree to refuse to provide this support if there’s no trip to rehab.


  • If these steps fail, then consider if there is someone else that the alcoholic considers an authority. See if that person can help convince the alcoholic to seek help.


  • If all these steps fail, the next step the family should take is to contact a counselor with experience working with an addicted person. Bring the interventionist in and give him or her all they help they request, to get your loved one to agree to get help.  For help, call:  (866) 889-7494



These steps all lead up to one thing:  The arrival of the addicted person at an alcohol recovery program. Alcoholism cannot be treated at home.

It is best treated at a facility where the addicted person cannot get their hands on alcohol, where they have 24-hour supervision.