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How do I help an alcoholic?

Not really a "mom' question, but need some advice. My older sister is an alcoholic and her life is basically falling apart. She is going through a divorce, has two DUI's, money problems, etc. One minute I'm pissed at her and the next minute I feel sorry for her.

What, if anything, can I do to help her andor the situation?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 12:28 PM on Jan. 20, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (12)

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:30 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • Be supportive of her if she choses to stop drinking but other then that you cant help her. I know it sounds harsh but its true. I went to al-anon for years due to my now ex being an alcoholic. Many of the things we do that we think "help" a person who is an alcoholic are actually enabling behaviors. I know you love her & wish you could help but other then pointing her towards help there isnt anything you can do. Until she chooses to realize the cause of her problem & does something to correct it she will continue to make choices that aren't good for her life. Good luck.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:31 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • quit feeling sorry for her and let her life fall apart

    Answer by shay1130 at 12:32 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • Theres not much you can do unless she wants help. My dad is an alcoholic with 5 dui's under his belt. He is currently under a one year license suspension and was on house arrest for the last one. The entire family has tried multiple times to help him, and no matter what, he always goes back to the alcohol. Even him going to AA classes (which he does 3 times a week) he is still drinking. Basically what I am saying is, no matter what you try to do, it is not going to help her unless she really truly wants to be helped.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:32 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • the best thing to do for your sister is get her in to a rehab program/and rember that its her life and she need to make the choice to change it not you and you cant let her problems became your problems...sorry sounds harash but coming from a family of abusers (of everykind) i have seen these thing rip people apart when thier not the ones with the abuse issue....

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:32 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • Sorry to say I don't think there is much you can do. It is a decision your sister will have to come to and usually not until they hit rock bottom. Just try to tell her how you feel in a positive way (the best you can) and check on There is family support there for relatives of alcoholics. Good Luck!


    Answer by mom-2-4boys at 12:36 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • She has to do it herself. Just support her if she decides she wants to get sober. You could suggest AA or some other type of help.

    Answer by admckenzie at 12:38 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • You could try doing a family intervention thing, and in some instances, if you can prove that she is a potential threat to herself or to someone else, you can go through the court system and have her committed to a treatment center. I would even talk to her husband and see if he would be willing to help. You can call your local county attorney, sheriff's department, etc., and ask what you need to do, what kind of proof you need, what you need to document, etc. This is your sister's life and she needs help. More than likely she's using the alcohol to soothe some old hurts and somebody needs to help her discover what those are. You could be that person, so leave no stone unturned when it comes to looking into the possibilites of getting her some help.

    Answer by NannyB. at 12:38 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • There isn't anything you can do to help her except to be supportive when she realizes that she is the only reason her life is falling apart. I now have 2 neighbors that are recovering. One just told me yesterday that he is an alcoholic. I am supportive of his decision. I also have a neighbor who has 2 children in their mid teens that are addicts. The best thing you can do is to let her figure it out. Be loving and supportive when she needs help, but don't help out the financial situation. When they hit rock bottom then they will need as much help and support that you can give them just not financially. My sister is an alcoholic and doesn't know it yet. I will not give her money and I won't go to her rescue all the time. She knows where to find me when she decides that she wants to clean her life up. They are like a tornado and when they are around they pull you down with their drama and I can't take it. GL!

    Answer by coala at 12:47 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

  • Just tell her, I'm here for you when you stop drinking.

    Answer by gammie at 1:28 PM on Jan. 20, 2010

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