Help For Families Dealing With Alcoholism: What You Should Know

When a person develops an addiction to alcohol, the focus for treatment and recovery always falls upon the addict themselves. However, the alcoholic is not the only person who suffers as a result of that addiction. Their family is also greatly affected. If you are a close family member of a person trying to recover from alcoholism, then you should know that there are steps that you can take not only to support your family member, but also to help yourself recover. So, get to know some of these methods to heal as your family member with an alcohol addiction does the same. 

Family Therapy

Many addiction treatment centers offer a form of alcoholism treatment known as family therapy. Family therapy is not just designed to benefit the recovering addict, but their family members as well. 

These therapy sessions revolve around repairing damage that substance abuse and addiction did to the relationship between an alcoholic and their family members. This involves allowing family members to air their grievances about the alcoholic's behavior, the alcoholic to do the same with family members, and to help the family members recognize their roles in the person's addiction. 


Many family members of an alcoholic suffer mental health issues of their own as the result of their loved one's addiction. This can include depression, anxiety, trust issues, or even PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). 

When a family member is suffering from such issues, they will benefit from individual psychotherapy sessions. These one-on-one counseling sessions between a counselor or psychologist and the patient are largely discussion-based. This means that the patient is able to express and explore their feelings, the reasons behind them, and to develop healthy forms of coping. 

Support Group Meetings

Support group meetings are not just for addicts. There are also similar meetings designed specifically for the family and friends of addicts to help them cope and to help them function as an effective support system for their loved one with an addiction. 

These group meetings encourage family members to take care of their own health, accept that they cannot control their loved one with an addiction, and learn to avoid becoming an enabler. Many family members unintentionally enable substance abuse by providing money, avoiding confrontation, and continuing to support bad habits. These support group meetings help to break that cycle.

You do not have to sacrifice your own health and well-being to support your loved one suffering from alcoholism. So, keep these options in mind and be sure that you take care of yourself as well as the people you love. Loving an alcoholic can be difficult, but with help and support you can make a difference in both of your lives.