Dealing with an alcoholic family member can be a challenging and emotional experience. It is natural to feel frustration, anger, worry, and sadness. However, it is important to remember that alcoholism is a disease, and the individual is not choosing to drink. You can take steps to help your family member and support their recovery.

Educate Yourself About Alcoholism

The first step in helping an alcoholic family member is to educate yourself about the disease. Understanding the signs and symptoms of alcoholism and the potential consequences and treatments can help you better understand what your family member is going through. 

Communicate Your Concerns

Communicating your concerns about your family member’s drinking to them in a non-judgmental and compassionate way is important. Avoid blaming or lecturing, and try to express your love and concern. It can be helpful to use “I” statements, such as “I feel worried when you drink because I care about your health,” rather than “You are an alcoholic and need to stop drinking.”

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is an important part of helping an alcoholic family member. This may include setting financial or emotional support limits or establishing consequences for certain behaviors. It is important to be clear and consistent with your boundaries and to communicate them to your family member.

Offer Support and Encourage Treatment

Support and encouragement can be important in helping an alcoholic family member. This may include helping them find treatment options, attending support group meetings, or simply being there to listen and offer emotional support. 

Take Care of Yourself

Helping an alcoholic family member can be emotionally draining, and it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure to take breaks and engage in activities that help you relax and recharge. It can also be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or a therapist. 


Helping an alcoholic family member can be challenging. Educating yourself about alcoholism, communicating your concerns, setting boundaries, offering support, and taking care of yourself are all important steps to make it easier for you and your family member. Remember to be patient and compassionate, as recovery is a process and may take time. 

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