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How to Stop Enabling an Alcoholic

Many times while trying to help, friends and family members actually make the situation worse by enabling the alcoholic.

Difficulty Level: hard      Time Required: varies

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

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