Alcoholism


#1

I have a dear friend who thinks he is an alcoholic. I’m not quite sure what to say to him. He drinks a bottle of hard liquor a week. When he tries to quit, he can think of nothing else than drinking. It’s not as though drinking has taking over his life, but in the evening, there is nothing he wants more than to get “happy”. What advice should I give? Thanks.

Felix


#2

Ask him if he would like to attend an AA meeting. Some will allow friends and family members to attend as well.

Kim


#3

Tell him go to go talk his priest and/or his doctor and seek and find the type of help that will be right for him. He has to ask for help and he needs professional advice - its up to him, not you. Be supportive - but you can’t fix him. don’t forget to pray for him. He may have other issues don’t brand him as an alcoholic.


#4

FelixBlue,

Family history: My grandfather died of alcoholism before I was born. In his teens, my dad had to carry him home from the bar through a small town. One of my aunts drank herself to death-denying drinking when she called even though you could hear the ice cubes clinking in her glass. Her son, my cousin, drank himself to death in his 50s. My only brother died at age 43 from alcohol and drug use. Those are the ones I am aware of. Before I even knew the Lord, he gave me the grace to walk away from alcohol. Praise God!

Tell him that happiness doesn’t come in bottles. It comes from God knowing everything he needs and providing it through grace. Tell him that he was not born to drink himself to death-that there is a higher purpose for his life. Tell him it hurts you each and every time you think about him. Tell him that his life is not his, it is a gift from God. Please do not pass judgment on him, only point out his error with patience and promise to help. Tell him you love him like a brother and it’s breaking your heart to see him drink. Tell him that the evil one delights in every drink he takes, because it turns him away from God, and toward the lie that is alcohol. Tell him satan is the father of all lies and was present, smiling, when he took his first drink. Tell him that satan is a coward and will flee if he only has the courage to call upon Christ for help. Ask him how long he has been sober in the past. Reassure him that he can do it again, since he has the strength already within him. Encourage him to recall sober times when he was truly happy. Contrast that to his life with alcohol. Remind him that becoming sober is similar to when he first learned to walk-that he fell many times, but got right back up and kept trying until he mastered it. He did not stay there on the floor!, Tell him, in love, whatever it takes to speak to his heart.

Alcoholism is similar to depression in that it involves a disordered amount of self-pity. Take him on a visit to those who are truly sick, impoverished or profoundly disabled and watch as his problems shrink in comparison. Once perspective is restored, his “reason” for drinking will be greatly diminsihed. God bless you in your efforts.

Christ’s peace.


#5

I have alcoholics in my family. They are all different. I think it is amazing that your friend is actually admitting possible alcoholism.

My mom has always been able to work and she would only drink once she came home. It only affected her family life - outsiders would never have known. She would have a few drinks a night. She would go NUTS if the house was dry though, so a trip to the liquor store was priority number one.

My brother is a binge drinker. He will try hard not to drink all month, and then get a pay cheque and drink 18 beers in 24 hours.

My dad never gets drunk but he MUST have a drink every day. And he hides his drinking.

I drink on occasion. My husband can’t figure out why. I think I am not an alcoholic. The reason? probably because more than one drink makes me feel sick. I am very fortunate.

There are all kinds of different alcoholics so your friend probably does need help. AA is the best thing I know. Rehab is hard to get into and can be expensive if you live in the states. Doesn’t always work either. I think there is a lot of hope for your friend.


#6

If your friend can think of nothing else but drinking when he tries to quit, and wants nothing more than to get “happy” in the evening, then drinking HAS taken over a part of his life, and it WILL take over more. And that’s not psychobabble, it’s biochemistry.

In that situation, there’s only one course of action. Stop drinking. It will never be easier for him than right now, but he’s got to want to. AA may help, and though I’m no big fan of 12-step myself, if it works for him, it’s good for him.

His priest and doctor can certainly help, and so can you by being there for him and being honest in your dealings with him – no excuses or facilitating. And of course, there’s prayer – and NEVER underestimate how that can help!

Blessings,

Gerry


#7

What do you mean he thinks he is an Alcoholic? Did he say that to you?

If he did and he says it again, ask him if he wants help, if he does then look up the number of AA in the phone book in your area and give it to him.


#8

Other than the sources already mentioned the one thing I would tell him is people have certain weaknesses, and are predisposed toward certain problems. This being acknowledged, you don’t have to behave in a certain way just because it’s difficult to avoid that behavior. Your tendencies don’t define you, but your actions do. And even though it is very hard, you are ultimately responsible for the choices you make.

You make a decision every time you get in the car to go to the store. You make a decision every time you pick up a bottle of liquor off the shelf. You make a decision when you pay for it and bring it home. You make a decision when you open the bottle. And you make a decision every sip you take. At any point you can say “No” and stop the process. And if you fail, there is no reason why you shouldn’t keep trying to get it right. If you need help along the way, you can count on me to do what I can.


#9

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