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How to Help My Brother with Alcoholism

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

May 21, 2024

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If you have an alcoholic brother, it’s tough to see someone you care about struggling with addiction. You might feel worried and unsure about what to do. Alcoholism usually gets worse if it’s not treated, which means it’s important to get help early to stop more problems with your brother’s health and relationships. This guide will help you learn more about alcohol use, show you how to identify alcoholism, and outline how to talk to your sibling about getting treatment for alcohol addiction.

My Brother Is an Alcoholic, What Do I Do?

If you suspect your brother is an alcoholic, first learn as much as you can about alcohol use disorder (the clinical term for alcoholism). This knowledge can help you understand what he’s going through.

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Next, try to talk to him about his drinking in a caring and supportive way. Choose a good time when he’s sober and you both can have a private conversation without interruptions. Express your concerns about how his drinking is affecting him and the family, but try to do so without sounding blaming or judgmental.

Offer to help him find treatment. Research different rehab options and discuss these with him. Be patient and supportive, as your brother may not be ready to admit he has a problem or seek help.

Remember to take care of yourself, too. Consider joining a support group for families of alcoholics like Al-Anon, where you can learn from others who are dealing with similar challenges. This can give you emotional support and practical advice on handling the situation.

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Understanding Alcoholism

Alcoholism (alcohol use disorder) is a condition where someone cannot control their urge to drink alcohol. It’s a chronic condition that might improve temporarily but often includes periods where a person starts drinking again, even if it causes problems with their health, relationships, or work.

Alcoholism cannot be cured, but it can be managed through various treatments, such as:

  • Taking medications to lessen the desire for alcohol
  • Talking to therapists
  • Joining support groups like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)

Alcohol can affect many areas of life, including:

  • Physical health: It can lead to serious health issues like liver damage, heart problems, and changes in brain function.
  • Emotional well-being: It can cause significant emotional distress, including feelings of sadness or anxiety. Alcoholism is also linked to mental health conditions like depression and PTSD.
  • Social relationships: Excessive drinking can damage social connections, leading to issues such as strained relationships with family and friends, job loss, and financial problems.

With the right support and treatment, people with alcoholism can improve their health and lives. They learn healthier ways to cope with stress, avoid alcohol as a solution, and work hard to stay sober.

How to Get Your Brother into Rehab for Alcoholism

Getting your brother into rehab for alcoholism involves care, understanding, and persistence. Approach your brother when he is sober and in a calm environment. Share your concerns gently, focusing on how his drinking affects his life and your relationship rather than blaming him.

Before you talk to him, research some rehab options. This way, you can discuss specific details and answer any questions he may have about the process. Consider bringing along another family member into the conversation for extra support, or even consult with a professional counselor.

If your brother agrees to consider rehab, help him take the next step. You can start by checking what treatments his insurance will cover.

For a free check on insurance coverage for alcohol rehab, click here.

How to Help My Brother with Alcoholism | FAQs

1. How can I recognize if my brother has a drinking problem?

Look for increased drinking, neglect of responsibilities, drinking in dangerous situations, withdrawal symptoms, and using alcohol to cope with emotions.

2. How should I approach my brother about his drinking?

Choose a calm, private time to express your concerns using “I” statements and listen without judgment.

4. How can I support my brother in seeking treatment?

Research treatment options, encourage professional help, and offer to accompany him to appointments or meetings.

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Get Premier Addiction Treatment for Your Brother at Renaissance Recovery

Alcohol addiction can affect the whole family. If you need help for an alcoholic brother, reach out to Renaissance Recovery right away.

We help with alcohol addiction and mental health issues at our outpatient rehabs by the beach in California and Florida. We also have more intense treatment programs for those who need extra support. If your brother requires help quitting alcohol safely, we can put you in touch with detox centers near you.

At Renaissance, we create a care plan just for brother, which might include:

  • Different kinds of therapy (like CBT and DBT)
  • Help with medications
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • One-on-one therapy
  • Holistic methods
  • Ongoing support after treatment

Stop an alcoholic brother from ruining family life by calling our recovery experts at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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