Watching a loved one become an alcoholic can be hard, especially when it is a sibling. The good news is that you can learn how to help an alcoholic brother, so that he can get his life back on track. The first step to getting help is to recognize that he has a problem. The second step is to help him recognize that he has a problem. The third step is to help him find treatment for his disease.
My Brother Drinks Too Much
"Drinking becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with your life." Before you can assess whether or not your brother is an alcoholic, you must first determine if he drinks too much. Some men have a can of beer after work every day, but they do not necessarily have a drinking problem. Drinking becomes a problem when it begins to interfere with your life. Here are some signs that your brother may have a drinking problem:
- He drinks frequently, maybe every day.
- He likes to drink by himself.
- He stays away from family and friends, so that he can drink freely.
- He has taken to a new group of "drinking buddies" and dropped his old friends.
- He must have a drink in order to have a good time.
- He is much more assured and may even have an inflated ego when he drinks.
- He is more social and can easily talk to others when drinking.
- He feels guilty and possibly even depressed after he drinks.
- He does things when he drinks that he would not do when sober.
- He often suffers memory loss when he drinks.
- He has missed work or school because of his drinking.
- He involves himself in risky behavior when he has been drinking, endangering his own life or other people's lives.
- His friends have abandoned him because of his drinking.
My Brother is an Alcoholic
Once you have determined that your brother has a drinking problem, you can then begin to assess if he is actually an alcoholic. Remember, not everyone who has a drinking problem is also an alcoholic; however, even people who are not alcoholics can still have problems in their life caused by alcohol.
Types of Alcoholics
Alcoholism affects different people differently. While doctors haven’t identified a “typical alcoholic,” they have determined that there are at least five different types of alcoholics suffering from the effects of this disease.
The main factor in determining if your brother is an alcoholic is if he has a physical dependency on alcohol. Alcoholics cannot abstain from alcohol without going into withdrawal. If your bother can abstain from alcohol, but chooses not to, then he is likely a problem drinker and not an alcoholic; but he still needs help.
Getting help for an alcoholic or problem drinker is possible with a little professional guidance. You and your brother might be close, but he may not want to hear what you have to say about his drinking. Someone who has had experience working with alcoholics and other addicts will be able to give you sound advice on how to talk to your brother about his drinking, so that it does not scare him off.
It can be difficult to convince an alcoholic or problem drinker to seek treatment, so it is helpful to have a professional walk you through the process and tell you what to do and not do, before you try to talk to your brother.
It is never too late to get help for your brother, if you think that he has a drinking problem or may be an alcoholic. You may actually save him from other negative consequences, like job loss and legal trouble. To get help, call our secure hotline at 1-888-919-3845 to learn how to help an alcoholic brother, today. Our confidential service is open 24 hours a day, allowing you to seek help at a time that is best for you.