Recommendations to best approach family member who has an obvious problem with alcohol? My siblings and I have been talking about it for a while about how bad the problem has gotten with our dad but know it is a sensitive topic and could backfire.

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Just found the al-anon website, reading through it now.

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Whenever I hear something like this, the first two things that come to my mind are:
1) I’m sorry that you’re going through this; you’re not alone.

2) Does HE want to stop?

Al-Anon is an invaluable resource and can help in ways that can’t even be imagined. An intervention with your dad might make him even more defensive, but the whole family going to Al-Anon would send a powerful message.

The most important thing is to realize that alcoholism is a “family disease”. Your dad might be the drinker, but the whole family is sick. Alcohol is his master, but “control” is the poison of the rest of the family. “If only we could control dad and get him to drink less, or to stop...”

Alcohol defies all logic, and as such, requires tools and teachings that aren’t intuitive to anyone. That’s why a 12-step program (or any program of recovery) is so vital for both the drinker and the family.

Finally, it can be helpful to read up on alcoholism to learn about what it really is and how it really affects the drinker. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to be an “alcoholic”. Reading the first couple chapters of the AA big book would paint the best picture of how the disease really works (or at least it did for me).

You can read it free here: https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/alcoholics-anonymous.
I recommend starting with The Doctor’s Opinion.

likehelpful

I second that! I have 13 months recovery in Al Anon, and my partner has 13 months sobriety in AA. We each take care of “sweeping up our sides of the street” so to speak, and work our own programs. Her recovery is not my responsibility and vice versa. But—it has been invaluable to both of us to work both programs. I’ve read the Big Book and go to open AA meetings, and she attends Al Anon periodically as well. Support from others in both programs is vital, so I also encourage talking to others! ❤️

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As a 12 years sober alcoholic I loved my family more than anything but they couldn’t get me to stop. Al-anon is a wonderful resource. I encourage you to attend some meetings (more than one!). Best of luck to you and I will pray for your father.

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Yes to All of this. Thinking of your family.

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