Which family member is closest to you

My relative - friend - acquaintance - is alcoholic, is there help?

You have certainly asked yourself this question many times, dear relatives. Have you become discouraged and don't know what to do next?

We would like to help you.
If you have an alcoholic relative in your family, be it partner, daughter, son, friend, then your greatest wish and hope is that your loved one will get well again.

You want to help him and you don't know how?

Do you want that person to be happy and satisfied again?

Do you know alcoholism is a disease?

Perhaps you have been trying to help your loved one for years. Are you fighting for and for them?

So far the fight seemed to be in vain. There was nothing left but aborted attempts, steps in the dark, desperate questions on your side.

Do you feel that your efforts did more harm than good? Just why? You meant it so well.

Please don't blame yourself!

The first thing you have to realize is that your loved one is a "prisoner" of an insidious disease: that is

Alcohol sickness

The clinical picture has often triggered despair, fear, anger and insecurity in you. They felt cheated, lonely, helpless, abandoned by all the world, in the end with all their strength and wisdom.

Who is there to help?
Who will answer my questions?

Only when you understand the symptoms of the disease can you accept the loved one as sick and help them on their way out of the addiction.

So it is a question of understanding the illness and accepting the sick.

Assume that the patient is recovering very slowly and please understand.

Dear relatives,

On the following pages we would like to show you the experiences that we have gained in many individual and group discussions. They should help you to find a way that is feasible for you.



Which you should definitely be doing

Talk to someone who is familiar with the alcoholism (family doctor, outpatient advice center, abstinence or self-help groups and discussion groups). Find out more from books, daily newspapers or the local health department.
Visit a support group
Find out what alcoholism actually is
Accept that alcoholism is a disease. 5. Check your own behavior (including your drinking behavior).
Visit a discussion group / group with your loved one. You should also visit the group alone if the sick person does not go along at the moment, possibly out of lack of understanding. You are doing something for yourself with it. Your consistent behavior will also help your partner.
Don't expect content sobriety right away.
Create a cozy atmosphere for yourself and your loved one.
Take the alcoholic seriously when trying to live alcohol-free, including the way he is trying to get healthy.
Do not try to protect the alcoholic from the alcohol.
Encourage new activities.
Don't let setbacks discourage you. Discuss these setbacks with the group.


Talk to someone who knows the alcohol disorder. Good friends and relatives are often biased. Talk to people who know both the illness and the feelings associated with the illness. You can get the best answers to your many questions from them. There is nothing better than "first-hand" experience and knowledge.
Attend an abstinence group There you will find the people, the friends you need right now. They are available for individual and group discussions. Here you will find help, advice and consolation. The aim of these groups is: to work through problems together, but also to experience beautiful and hopeful hours together. But the goal is also to build an alcohol-free future. The basic requirement for this is a conversation with one another.
Find out what alcoholism actually is Today we can say with conviction that there is justified hope for the alcoholic person to get rid of his addiction. Success lies with those who were willing to be helped. The basic requirement is that the alcoholic and his relatives accept the offers of help that are available to them. We now know that alcoholism is a disease, just like any other disease. But it has one special feature: it does not develop overnight. It takes many years to develop and cannot heal like a broken leg. It can only be stopped by abstinence. So it is not dismissed with the generally held standpoint of "weak-willed". This point of view is wrong. It is imperative that it be corrected. Perhaps you too often thought in the past that your loved one "only" had to stop drinking. You may have thought that your partner doesn't want to, he just wants to annoy you, he doesn't care about anything. That is also not true. The addict wants to stop drinking, he often tries, but he can't. He can only stop with the help of others, so I ask you again: Find out more!
Accept that alcoholism is a disease A rational recognition of the fact that it is a disease is essential. But if you only absorb the knowledge with your mind, you can hardly help the alcoholic person. You can only give help when you have emotionally absorbed and processed the fact. Accept the alcoholic as a sick person who urgently needs help - including your help. Do not patronize or lecture him. Allegations are out of place. Nagging and scolding is wrong. Because everything you say, the alcoholic has often said to himself. The alcoholic's thinking goes around many corners, regardless of whether he is sober or not. If you expect explanations for different behaviors of addicts, you are only encouraging a tendency to lie or you are forcing him to make promises that he cannot keep because of his illness.
Check your own behavior (including your drinking behavior) We make the suggestion because we know from our own experience that it will be very helpful for you. This personal inventory brings to light many surprises that do not affect the other person (e.g. in a partnership), but you yourself. Knowing about it is a basic requirement for better self-knowledge. It takes courage to see yourself as you are. But only in this way can you accept yourself. You will also realize that your partner can never be who you want them to be. Just like you, he is a unique being with strengths and weaknesses. Don't treat him like a child. You won't achieve anything with it. Only when you see this and take it to heart will you be able to help the alcoholic.
Visit the discussion group / group with your relatives These joint group visits are so important from the start because you and your partner will find positive starting points here. Here are the friends ready to help you. These friends cannot make decisions for you, but they are ready to help you make decisions.
Don't expect content sobriety right away As with other diseases, the difficult times are the crises. For people who are now alcohol-free, the time to come to terms with and stabilize their lives begins. Difficult days are sure to come for you and your partner. Days when old habits and bad habits arise. Help your partner by telling them you believe in them.
Create a cozy atmosphere for yourself and your loved one Make everyone in your home comfortable. Discuss your day-to-day problems together. Be open to one another. Just as the alcoholic works and changes, you will find it in yourself. Talk to the partner about these changes. Together you have the strength to experience problems and joys. Believe in a bright future. Believe it very much. Talk to "REAL" friends about it.
Take the alcoholic seriously when trying to live alcohol-free If your alcoholic partner is starting to show interest in a change but you don't think you will act on that interest right away, please don't make derogatory comments about it. The alcoholic has to make his own decisions. He must feel like his decision grows. Don't push him, make him feel that you believe in him, that he is doing something. Let him take the initiative and responsibility. Show him that you believe in him and the success of a change. In our groups we often experience that the relatives are of the opinion that those who are now alcohol-free are not developing> positively
Do not try to protect an alcoholic from the alcohol Let us recall: In one of the previous points it was said, "Let the alcoholic make the decision." This is especially important! Leaving this principle behind is often one of the quickest ways to "relapse" your partner. If you warn those around you not to serve alcohol to the alcoholic, you stir up old feelings of inadequacy and guilt in them. The alcoholic must and will learn for himself No accept.
Encourage new activities Without alcohol, there is a lot of free time in an alcoholic's life. Encourage him when he talks about new activities. Develop new activities together or refresh "old" ones. This commonality shows you and your partner that a life without alcohol is worthwhile.
Don't let setbacks discourage you Don't be discouraged by mistakes you make! Don't get impatient with the alcoholic's inability to sobriety quickly. Just think about how long it took to get addicted. These experiences cannot be abandoned or changed overnight. The basis is that the alcoholic no longer drinks. The basis for both of you is a clear and critical mind. Remember that the loved one needs you. Build a basis of trust. It is important for both of you to learn from mistakes you have made. Only in this way can you collect experience that you can continue to use.


Dear relative!

You have mustered the strength - we consciously believe - to read this letter.

Finally, a request:
Do not think much longer, do not hesitate, but contact an abstinence group or a counseling center near you.
Even if the alcoholic does not come to terms with it today - go ahead!

Many relatives will confirm that you can set an example through your resolve and your courageous beginning.
Your start will bring you relief as you will find that you are not alone. You will see that there are options.

We wish you the best of luck on your way.

The next group is already waiting for you to show you, too, that life without alcohol is good.



Source: Fachverband Sucht e.V.