Drinking problem.. please help


does anyone know if the Catholic church recommends any specific way or program to fight an alcohol addiction? i have been battling a drinking problem for years and am sick of it. this may not be the place for a question like this, but i was curious if i could get sober with the help of the church. i want to live by the morals and values of the catholic church, and this is a step for me in the right direction. thank you for any information you may have. peace , rob


Look into AA and other treatment programs. An alcoholic priest in my family got sober through AA and lived a full sober life afterward.

I’ll be praying for you.


Given the category you asked this question under I would suggest that first you went first to a priest that you felt comfortable with. Perhaps he knew of a priest fighting the same addiction as you and you could work with him. There are some great AA groups however, there are some less than great AA groups and to go there blind is a chance.

You have asked for the Catholic Church to guide you ~ that is why I strongly suggest you go through the Catholic Church for guidance. If you know of a “traditional” Catholic priest that you are comfortable with to talk with ~ he will help you find the best resources for you to find a path to recovery.

I promise prayer for your desire for recovery…God Be Praised that you seek this.


My friend my own pastor has suffered with this same condition…First it isn’t enough just to attend church you must get into a rehab, even if you have already done it before…It took him several tries…It is a heavy cross to bear but God will help you one day and one step at a time…but it is still a very hard road to walk…God bless you for returning to church, but remember you have a disease that will be with your for life

I would advise to to ask your pastor or your Dr…they will both steer you in the right direction…and remember God loves you and so do I…I will pray for you




I definately recommend AA, have many friends who have gotten and stayed sober there but you gotta want it, several priests have been in AA.:thumbsup:


A catholic sister or nun (I’m not sure which it was) helped get AA started in Akron, OH. You might also check out the Pioneers. I saw one of their priests being interviewed recently by Fr. Pacwa on EWTN. This is their web site: pioneerassociation.ie/

I’ll say a Hail Mary for you. God loves you, and so do your brothers and sisters in Christ.


We do love you brother or sister. I’m only offering what others have said - AA. And if you can muster it, one Hail Mary a day - said very slowly.


You can already be hopeful!, because God has blessed you with the desire to quit! I would pray the rosary and ask the Virgin Mary to pray for you. Also, you should go to a priest and talk to him. Get a spiritual director and normal confessor.


I will keep you in my prayers. I can relate to your problem personally. I have remained sober with the help of the Church, a good Catholic psychologist and prayer (and more prayer). Avoid situations where you might be tempted and occupy your mind with wholesome thoughts. It is a terrible cross to bear, but you can do it with the help of Our Blessed Lady and Christ as your support.

Others are there, and I encourage you not to be discouraged by any possible future falls from soberiety, but rather use them to edify your resolutions for the future. I takes a soul who has been there to know how to wrestle with the demon of alcohol, and once you discover your not alone in the struggle, the monster tends to lose it’s grip, little by little, until it can no longer put up a fight.

God knows your heart, and from the courage it took for you to realize and acknowledge your struggle, particularly in a public manner, shows me alone that you have the desire and courage to change. This is only one of many steps to recovery (or maintainance) that leads to other steps, and so on. You can do it and prayer will give you the strength and the answers you are seeking.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further support or have more questions.Dominus Vobiscum.


As others have suggested I would try AA. My father was an alcoholic. It is wonderful that you realize you need help and want help, that is the first step.

Also I hope you understand that alcoholism is a disease and more than just an addiction. Although my father could not stop, he did for a year, I know that through the mercy of God he is in Heaven. Our Lord does understand that it is a disease. If a person has no understanding of it they don’t realize the pain and suffering the person goes through.

Although AA doesn’t ascribe to any particular faith, they do speak of a higher power. For Catholics and Christians this of course would be Jesus.

May our Lord bless you greatly and guide you to the perfect person or place that will give you support and help.

Yours in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary



Alcoholics Anonymous. AA. I was in AA for a while, although I no longer am. It does a lot of good and it has actually helped to lead me back to the Catholic faith.

When you work the 12 steps you are doing everything a Catholic would do.

This is their website:


You’ll be able to find a meeting in your local area there.


Very definately, AA. I am now almost 22 years sober. But like one of the other posters said “you gotta want it”. No BS. Just give it up (and I mean TOTAL surrender) and let God do His work.

Get a sponsor and a Big Book. WORK the steps.


I forgot to say that if you need to talk PM or email me. You see, thats another part of the AA Program; to be there for others.


I am a member of AA also and I must say without a doubt AA has made such a tremendous difference in my life. AA only works if you work it One Day At A Time. It is not a religion it is a program of recovery. It’s foundation is based in Catholicism…but it is open to alcoholics of all faiths. The 12 steps are based upon the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius. I tried staying sober on my faith alone…it didn’t work to well for me because my disease manifests itself in other ways not just drinking. Alcoholism is a disease of the mind, it causes us to isolate ourselves, we live in fear/terror, for no reason at all. We are self-centered, selfish, and we are truly ego maniacs with an inferiority complex. I cannot stay sober on my own and in order to stay sober I have to give it away.


You must go to your doctor and reveal all, like a confession, basically to salvage your health. You can do it. Pray earnestly for guidance to overcome this affliction but you will come through it.
If you feel it’s come to a head then you will be able to deal with it.

My prayers go with you,



thank you all for your kindness, advice and prayers. i have been to AA in the past a few times but never stuck with it. i really enjoyed the meetings and the people are the best i have ever met. they understand what its like and don’t judge. my priest said the same thing. 1st pray 2nd AA. thank you again for your help and suggestions. be well Rob


Rob if you ever come to Stuart, FL stop by Fellowship Hall in “Historic” downtown Stuart. I also wanted to share this w/you.

Why We Were Chosen…Author unknown

God in His wisdom selected this group of men & women to be the purveyors of His goodness. In selecting them through whom to bring about this phenomenon, He went not to the proud, the mighty, the famous or the brilliant. He went instead to the humble, to the sick, to the unfortunate. He went right to the drunkard, the so-called weakling of the world. Well might He have said to us: "Unto your weak and feeble hands I have entrusted a power beyond estimate. To you has been given that which has been denied the most learned of your fellows. Not to scientists or statesmen, not to wives or mothers, not even to my priests or ministers have I given this gift of healing other alcoholics which I entrust to you. It must be used unselfishly; it carries w/it grave responsibility. No day can be too long; no demands of your time can be too urgent; no case be too pitiful; no task too hard; no effort too great. “It must be used w/tolerance for I have restricted its application to no race, no creed & no denomination. Personal criticism you must expect; lack of appreciation will be common; ridicule will be your lot; your motives will be misjudged. Your must be prepared for adversity, for what men call adversity is the ladder you must use to ascend the rungs toward spiritual perfection, & remember, in the exercise of this power, I shall not exact from you beyond your capabilities. You are not selected because of exceptional talents, & be careful always, if success attends to your efforts, not to ascribe to personal superiority that to which you can lay claim only by virtue of my gift. I I had wanted learned men to accomplish this mission, the power would have been entrusted to the physician & scientist. If I had wanted eloquent men, there would have been many anxious for the assignment, for talk is the easiest use of all talents w/which I have endowed mankind. If I had wanted scholarly men, the world is filled w/better qualified men than you who would be available. You were selected because you have been the outcasts of the world & your long experience as drunkards has made or should make you humbly alert to the cries of distress that come from the lonely hearts of alcoholics everywhere. Keep ever in mind the admission that you made on the day of your profession in AA, namely that you are powerless & that it was only w/your willingness to turn your life & will unto my keeping that relief came to you.”


i really like that, where did you get it from? thank you. rob


I don’t really feel qualified to answer this one, as I don’t have the problem. There is the usual avenue of AA and the Salvation Army run pretty good programs as well.

Alcoholism seems to be a very tough condition to live with. However I remember one story I heard from my Protestant pastor. A friend of his was an ex-Alcoholic. His policy was that if he thought an alcoholic was seriously trying to get of the alcohol, he’d walk over cut glass to help him or her. But if he thought the person wasn’t serious, he wouldn’t roll over in bed to help.

It’s still pretty much up to you, but you’ll need the support of others eg. AA, Salvos etc. And in one sense, it becomes a ministry for you as well, as you help THEM with THEIR problems.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.