How to Stop Taking Care of an Alcoholic


As we live with active alcoholism, we have a tendency to do more than we should for the problem drinker. How can we stop being an enabler and start taking care of ourselves? This is a difficult task at first but as we learn how to use various tools that are learned in places like Al anon meetings, we can quit rescuing and constantly caring for the alcoholics in our lives.

You see, one of the biggest problems that we suffer from is being care-takers. Not only do we take good care of our children, homes, friends, and co-workers, we also are really good at caring for the alcoholic’s in our lives.

We have a tendency to soften all of the mistakes and falls that they make one a daily basis. We must learn how to stop doing this for them.

If they do not experience the pain that accompanies their poor choices, they may never get well.

homeless alcoholicIn essence, they should be left to take care of themselves. This is difficult at times because there are children that are in the picture. A fear can develop that if we do not take responsibility for the alcoholic that the children will suffer. This is a very difficult place to be and is going to require pulling on the wisdom of others for help.

This is why I am constantly referring to the importance of getting involved in some sort of meetings that are designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics. Many people in these type meetings have had to deal with these types of situations and can offer their experience, strenght and hope to you.

Here are a few tips to help you stop caring for an alcoholic

1) Quit giving them money.
2) Don’t let them free-load. They must pay for their living arrangements.
3) Learn how to say NO! This is a complete sentence by the way.
4) Have them baker acted.

These are only a few of literally hundreds of various ways to stop taking care of a problem drinker. The person in your life who suffers from alcoholism will take advantage of you until you identify how and when they are doing this and you say NO MORE! There are specific ways of communicating with an alcoholic that work wonders in the process of detaching.

If you do not begin to set boundaries and stop taking care of them, they will manipulate you in every way possible. They will use self pity, lies, anger and anxiety to get their way if you do not learn how to affectively stop them in their tracks. The fastest way to learn how to cope with an angry alcoholic is by by learning from others who know what to do.

Now, get on the phone and get to a meeting in your area for friends and family members of active alcoholics. The longer you wait, the worse your situation will become. Each day breads another let down, angry circumstance, more arguments, resentment and unforgiveness. Make a decision to make changes in your life today to stop the things that you have been doing that are not bringing positive results in your life. Get yourself untangled, unmeshed, and unhitched from the affects of alcoholism by learning how to deal with it from people who can help you.


3 comments to How to Stop Taking Care of an Alcoholic

  • Elisabeth

    What is “baker acted”? Is that a typo? I can’t figure out what it would be, in either case.

  • JC

    Oh, Elisabeth, I didn’t realize that the Baker Act is on a Florida State level. The Baker Act allows for an individual to be involuntarily examined. It can be initiated by judges, law enforcement officials, physicians, or mental health professionals. There must be evidence that the person:

    1-has a mental illness (as defined in the Baker Act).
    2-is a harm to self, harm to others, or self neglectful (as defined in the Baker Act).

  • Pamala

    I know this is an old thread, but I have a question. Everyone says “don’t let them free-load”. If this is your adult child and they will not leave… how does not do that?

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