For Families

We can help

If you live with or have a family member who has a problem with alcohol it is often difficult to know how to cope.  It can be a very frustrating and stressful situation.
Although at times you may feel hopeless, there are ways to encourage someone to seek help and at the same time, and most importantly find time to take care of yourself.

Perhaps you are feeling?

Feeling constantly worried and uncertain.
Why has this happened?
Feeling unable to cope and not knowing what to do.
Feeling let down and betrayed by the person you care for.
Is it me? Have I caused the problem (the answer is no!)

Too ashamed to talk to anyone.

You may feel you have lost the person you used to know.

These feelings are understandable and natural under the circumstances, but there are things you can do...

Talking Helps

  • Ease anxiety.
  • Decrease stress.
  • Make you feel listened to and supported.
  • Help you vent your feelings.
  • Provide you with relevant information and help you make choices.
  • Help you to cope better - an opportunity for one to one counselling.



  • Challenge the drinking behavior, that is when they are sober!  Be direct about your concerns making them realise you are serious.  "Nagging" is often ignored!
  • Realise you cannot control drinking behaviour, only the drinker can do that.
  • Talk to someone, be it a family member or friend or seek advice/support from ACA.  This will ease your anxiety.
  • Be firm and frank, calm and in control when discussing the problem, it's not easy but keep trying.
  • Try to take care of yourself despite the drinking.  Keep up friends and interests, find some space for yourself.  Do things you enjoy.
  • Blame yourself.
  • Take responsibility for their drinking.
  • Cover up, lie or make excuses for the drinking behaviour.  (You are only allowing it to continue without any consequences).
  • Pour away or hide alcohol - a drinker will only get it somewhere else!
  • Be tempted to join in the drinking, this will make it look "okay" and you could end up with a drinking problem.
  • Make empty threats or ultimatums (the one's you are unlikely to carry out).
  • Feel you have to control the situation, it will only wear you down.