Living With An Alcoholic?

A man drinking while a woman comforts a child.
Alcoholism affects families all across the world. Treatment is slow and requires commitment and effort from the affected individual to stop drinking. This page has advice to help the friends and family who are living with an alcohol and resources for the eventual recovery.

2 Questions

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December 28, 2009

I was wondering if anyone out there has some ideas to help my husband quit drinking? We have no AA around here, and right now rehab is not an option. Did anyone stop on their own? Any tips or ideas? I've also heard there is medication out there to stop the cravings, what is it? Thanks for your help.

By Sherri from Alberta


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December 28, 20090 found this helpful

Take his picture while he's drunk, if he falls down take it. Show it to him the next day. I heard this works. I also heard that a person got drunk almost every night & fell down, wet his pants. She took his picture, showed it to him the next day. He did not drink any more. People do what they want to, if you are not happy. Leave or make him leave. Life is too short to be in this, good luck.

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December 28, 20090 found this helpful

Find a sponsor for him. Even if it's not AA, a preacher or leader will help. He has to hit rock bottom before he'll want to quit. Detox first, that's the hardest part.

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December 29, 20090 found this helpful

The medication is called Antibuse. Your family doctor can prescribe it for him, and he can also give him advice on how to quit. The thing is, your husband has to be the one who wants to stop drinking, and he has to be the one who asks for help.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.


Do NOT try to shame or humiliate him with picture taking. He knows very well what he's doing. I agree with the other post that HE is the one that has to want to stop and HE is the one that has to ask for help. It is something that is much more complicated than asking Thrifty Fun for help. God Bless you and your husband.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

I am a recovering alcoholic for 22 years and could not have done it without AA. The other writers are right however, that HE, your husband, must take this step. It is not something you can do for him. I'm not sure why you think there are no meetings in Alberta. I'm in Orlando and googled and found the attached. Please look also for meetings for those who love an alcoholic, to help you say and do the right things. Please look into those for yourself.Hope this helps. Good luck and God Bless


See Also
Al-Anon, CA, NA

Alberta and Northwest Territories, Area 78 - Alcoholics Anonymous Edmonton Meetings
Calgary Meetings
District 2 - Fairview, High Level, Peace River
District 3 - Bonnyville and the Medley Air Base
District 6 - Drayton Valley, Evansburg, Fox Creek, Lodgepole, Mayerthorpe, Sangudo & Whitecourt
District 7 - High Prairie, Slave Lake, Wabasca/Desmarais
District 9 - Westlock, Athabasca and area
District 10 - Aberta Beach, Duffield, Onoway, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Wabamun
District 12 - Camrose, Leduc, Calmar, Ponoka, Thorsby
District 13 - Red Deer and area
District 14 - Innisfail, Didsbury, Olds, Bowden
District 16 - Medicine Hat, Brooks, Bassano
District 17 - Lethbridge and area
District 18 - Black Diamond, Claresholm, Dewinton, High River, Nanton, Okotoks, Turner Valley & Vulcan
District 19 - Stettler, Consort, Castor & Alix


Alberta Contacts, Central Offices and Intergroups Provided by the main Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Site.

Sober Strong and Free Roundup - Annual Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) event with Al-Anon participation. Presented by Edmonton's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members of AA. 19th Annual. September 8, 9 & 10, 2006. Saint Andrew's Centre. Edmonton, Alberta (AB), Canada (CA)

Alberta (AB) AA on Alexa - Google - ODP - Yahoo -
The Agape Center > Canada AA > Alberta British Columbia Manitoba New Brunswick Newfoundland & Labrador Northwest Territories Nova Scotia Nunavut Ontario Prince Edward Island Quebec Saskatchewan Yukon

This page was last updated 12 March, 2008.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

If he's a heavy drinker and stops suddenly, he's going to go through some very unpleasant withdrawal. Alcoholism is a medical problem, so the first step should be for him to see a doctor.


If the doctor he sees doesn't give him helpful information, he should keep looking for one who will.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

I use to be married to one. I did learn a lot after us going our separate ways. Alcohol helps the body to produce GLA (an essential fatty acid). A very small amount does this, but alcoholics don't make much themselves & have the biological need to keep going to the bottle for more of the thing that helps them to feel normal.

So taking GLA can help. It can be bought from vitamin stores or on the net. I like "Health From The sun". It may take a lot to feel the difference. Also, I have a nephew who has this problem too.


He was helped with taking whole desiccated thyroid. The thyroid has a place in this, even if medical tests say you are fine. The medical community sucks as far as most of them only looking at tests for the answers.

Now as someone else says, it's not only about the drinking, you have to have some sort of therapy, AA, seeing a therapist. Something, cause it is about what started it. When we have emotional problems, we often can't see that aspect cause we are too close. Delving into the mind can be a mine field.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

Sheri: Sounds like you can use Al-Anon. You can not do anything about your husbands drinking but you can help yourself. Al-Anon is for someone who loves an Alcoholic. There are meeting all over the world as AA is. If you google it you can find meetings in your area. Even if your husband continues to drink your life can get better if you focus on you instead of him. I know first hand. It has helped me and Changed me. I didn't think I had a problem until I looked at myself and found that I wasn't helping the situation any. Try it, if you don't like it after 9 meetings you can quit there are no musts in Al-anon.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

I agree that he must do it for himself, you cannot do it. There are probably AA meetings in your neighborhood (even Ulan Batar in Outer Mongolia has a group.) If there aren't AA groups close enough, AA has Internet groups and the Grapevine monthly newsletter.

BTW, I am not an alcoholic, but I attend AA meetings because the Overeaters Anonymous meetings are woefully inadequate in my major city. I identify myself as an overeater and only address the spiritual part of my recovery, not the food. I have always been welcome at the meetings.

I wish serenity for you both.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

My husband decided it was a major waste of money and it wasn't very much fun either, so he quit. He did drink O'Douls for awhile to gradually quit. Perhaps your husband can take the money he would normally spend drinking and save for something very special to him. My brother-in-law took that medicine and it worked for him--one gets very sick if they take a drink while on it.

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December 30, 20090 found this helpful

Alcohol withdrawl can kill you if not done right. You can't just stop if you are a heavy drinker.

Your husband won't quit unless he wants to, even then it takes a lot. My sister, has been drinking on and off for almost 20 years, she has an 11 yr old that lives in my state with our Mom now, she's had rehab twice in the last few months. Still drinking. I wish you peace as there is nothing we as bystanders can do but to be praying and "tough love".

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December 31, 20090 found this helpful

As so many others have said here, you cannot take the reins for him, he has to want it for himself. In the meantime, if the really good local "real-time" listing another poster already put here won't help you, you can find links to Al-Anon for yourself through the AA website. There are many online meetings for Al-Anon, AA, NA and for other addictions.

If your husband is the one who said there aren't any meetings in your area, he's probably not ready to work on his alcoholism yet. That isn't to say you can't work on your end of it by coming to terms with denial, enabling, and just maintaining your own sanity and deciding limits by doing Al-Anon for yourself.

All the best to you. Our extended family has had its share of addictions; some have been successful in working their programs, and others, not so much. Would strongly suggest a 12-step program as opposed to meds to take the edge off, as meds are a quick (and often all too temporary) fix, and in reality there really is no quick fix for any addiction.

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February 21, 20110 found this helpful

First, your husband has to admit it to himself that he's an alcoholic and needs help. Otherwise, it's a futile battle against his addiction. It's also recommended to not treat it on your own. You can take a look at the list of sunnywray, or you can visit websites like They offer counseling services not just for the sufferers but also for their partners.

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May 9, 2022

I'm a senior living with my alcoholic son and my 15 year old dog. I'm walking on eggshells. He blew up on something minor 3 weeks ago and is punishing me. I'm trying to figure out how Al Alon works online. We live in a house that was left to both of us in a trust, so it's not like I can make him move.

I don't have an outlet for my depression. I'd love to get away and go on a trip but I'm uncomfortable leaving my dog for boarding. I can't even take my dog anywhere because if I try picking him up, he bites. My son usually doesn't have trouble getting him in and out the car, he won't bite him. After this last blowup, my son went to visit my my daughter for 4 days. He treats her like a princess. Bought her a $500 gift. Took her family out to eat, and bought groceries while he was there. Then he came home and went to his room. He didn't come out till he knew I had gone somewhere.

Yesterday, he bought me flowers for Mother's Day. I didn't put them in water ASAP. I didn't know what to say about the flowers because the least little thing sets him off. I was afraid I'd say the wrong thing. But I got the flowers out of the trash and put them in a vase. I get up this morning and the flowers are gone. I'm so hurt and really angry. Anyone reading this will probably think this is all made up. But this is what it's like living with an alcholic. I'm in my 80s, have no friends, a son that seems to hate me and a daughter that wants no part in all of this. I'm stuck in a rut with no place to go. Not going to harm myself but want this all to end. Thanks for listening.


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May 9, 20220 found this helpful

Your alcoholic son needs boundaries. If he wants to live with you, he has to stop drinking and go to AA meetings. You are enabling him. You have hard decisions to make, and delaying it will make it worse, since alcoholism is a progressive disease.

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May 9, 20220 found this helpful

I would call this hotline 800-799-SAFE (7233) and they should be able to help you with your situation. Here is the link also:

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May 9, 20220 found this helpful

It sounds like you and your son are living in a very volatile environment and that is not good for either one of you.
Your son is an adult and has the legal right to live in this house that you both share so there should be some sort of arrangements made that you each have separate living spaces.

You may need counseling but Al-Anon does not provide this:
"No, we do not provide counseling. Trained information specialists answer calls, transfer callers to state services or other appropriate intake centers in their states, and connect them with local assistance and support."

Are you saying that you cannot go to Al-Anon meetings in your area? This would be the best way to take advantage of their services.
Online is okay but not like one-on-one meetings.

There are probably county agencies that could help you if you search Google for family services using your zip code.

About the problem with your dog; buy a dog/car ramp so he can get in and out of the car by himself. (Affiliate Link)

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May 11, 20220 found this helpful

Alcoholism is a disease, read and learn as much as you can about alcohol and how it affects the brain to better understand what is happening to your son.
Remember that you cannot help someone that does not want to help themselves. You must keep in mind that it is his choice to drink.
Separate your child and the addiction. The addiction is not your son.
Be concerned, caring, non-judgmental.
Draw your boundaries and keep yourself healthy. Love yourself.

Read the advices:
How Can I Help My Son Stop Drinking?

If Your Loved One Is Refusing Treatment

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June 7, 20220 found this helpful

I'm so sorry that you don't have any way to move somewhere else. I believe AlAnon meetings would provide you some support and will help you develop a friend base that could lead to more activities and opportunities. In-person meetings would be even better if you could find something in your area. I would also encourage you to go to gatherings in your area regularly; like church, volunteer activities, or exercise groups.

It would be nice if your daughter could step in to help smooth things over with your son, as they seem to have a close relationship.

I hope that things will improve with you very soon.

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