An alcoholic may not necessarily be at fault for his or her addiction. However, someone who cannot control the urge to drink can damage their own lives and the lives of others. As the family member of an alcoholic, there may be steps that you can take to make that person understand the consequences of excessive drinking.
Talk About the Financial and Legal Consequences
It may be worth talking about the near and long-term financial and legal consequences that drinking may bring. For instance, it may be harder to find a job after getting a DUI or if a person has nerve damage related to alcohol abuse. It may also be harder to afford decent housing or transportation if money is being spent on legal fees after a DUI or a fight that occurred while drunk. Tell your relative that the result of those actions could be a life on the streets or in a grave at an early age.
Mention the Potential for Frayed Relationships
Grandparents who are alcoholics may not be able to see their grandchildren on a regular basis. Parents may also lose custody of their children or see their marriages come to an end because of alcoholism. To drive the point home, talk about the times that you wanted to call or see that person but didn’t because you couldn’t stand being around a drunk.
Alcoholics Put Their Bodies at Risk
You may want to tell your relative that even the best doctors can’t reverse the side effects of alcoholism. For instance, it may be possible to suffer from cirrhosis of the liver or other organ damage. Those who have been drinking may also have a weakened immune system because they don’t get proper nutrients.
Alcoholics Could Turn to Crime
Those who crave alcohol may turn to crime to pay for their habit. In some cases, a petty theft or other small crime could evolve into murder or arson. It may be possible to talk about how children who have parents in jail may be more likely to turn to crime themselves. That may be enough motivation for a relative to get sober.
It may be difficult to get alcoholics to admit that they have a problem and need help. However, by showing your addicted relative what alcohol will do going forward, it may provide the incentive necessary to get sober. If you can, try to find resources that your parent, sibling or cousin can use to start that journey.