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Alcoholism: How to be Part of the SolutionEl alcoholismo: C³mo ser parte de la soluci³n

Alcoholism: How to Be Part of the Solution

The best solution for a problem with an alcoholic family member requires changing what the nonalcoholic members are doing. By refusing to enable, focusing on their own needs, and getting help from outside, they can help start their family on the road to recovery.

Being Part of the Problem


Alcoholics cannot continue drinking for very long without the help of others. They need people to make excuses for them, rescue them, take care of them, share their denial, and buy into their delusions. Providing this kind of help to an alcoholic is known as "enabling." It is something family members, friends, and coworkers do all the time without realizing it.

Diminishing Your Own Life

When family members are preoccupied with trying to control an alcoholic, they can't live normal lives of their own. Instead, they permit the drinking to dominate their thoughts and actions as much as it dominates the alcoholic's. This is usually very distressful and it can be bad for their own mental health. This behavior can also affect their children's lives for years to come.

Getting Nowhere

As long as people stick to the behavior patterns that allow alcoholism to control their lives, they are on a self-perpetuating treadmill. To get off this treadmill, those around the alcoholic have to stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution.

Being Part of the Solution

Don't Enable

It is important that family members break the support system that enables their alcoholic to drink. A good way to start is by letting the alcoholic take personal responsibility for the problems and consequences of his or her drinking. This makes the alcoholic face reality.

Focus on Your Own Needs

When family members stop letting their thoughts and activities be determined by concerns about their alcoholic family member, they free themselves from the bonds of that person's illness. By giving top priority to their own needs, they can begin to make progress toward a normal existence for themselves.

Get Help

Overcoming alcoholism is not a do-it-yourself project, and there is plenty of help available to those who are willing to accept it. Dealing effectively with this disease requires new ways of thinking and acting. Family members can benefit greatly from the guidance and support of people who understand.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified:



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