Many times while trying to help, friends and family members actually make the situation worse by enabling the alcoholic.
Time Required: varies
- Cease doing anything that allows the alcoholic to continue their current lifestyle.
- Do nothing to 'help' the alcoholic that he could or would be doing himself if he were not drinking.
- Stop lying, covering up, or making excuses for the alcoholic, such as 'calling in sick' for him.
- Do not take on responsibilites or duties that rightfully belong to the alcoholic.
- Do not give or loan the alcoholic money.
- Don't 'rescue' the alcoholic by bailing him out of jail or paying his fines.
- Do not scold, argue or plead with the alcoholic.
- Do not react to his latest misadventures, so that he can respond to your reaction rather than his actions.
- Do not try to drink with the alcoholic.
- Set boundaries, don't make threats, and stick to them.
- Carefully explain to the alcoholic the boundaries that you have set, and explain that the boundaries are for you, not for him.
- Many times when an alcoholic's enabling system is removed, the fear will force them to seek help, but there are no guarantees.
- To learn more about enabling and the family disease of alcoholism, attend an Al-Anon meeting in your area.