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Bill, LCSW, Consultant, Expert Witness
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3707
Experience:  35 years treating individuals, couples, families with mental health and substance abuse prob's
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My 31 year old grandson has become an aloholic and has

Resolved Question:

My 31 year old grandson has become an aloholic and has become a danger to himself and perhaps others. He is extremely intelligent and able to talk his way out of and into any evaluation. He refuses to seek help. Last night he indicated he would like to "end things because he couldn't take it any more" and refused help. Later in the night he returned to the house saying he would agree to help and was remorseful. Today he refuses again any help. He is unemployed, lives with me and his mother. What can we do to help get him on the necessary recovery path?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
Bill :

Hello- Thank you for asking the question. I have over 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples and families & am happy to reply.

Bill :

I am sorry to hear about this problem with your grandson. Alcoholism is devastating.

Bill :

If you believe that your grandson is in imminent danger to himself or others- in every county in the U.S. there are procedures that you can initiate through the Mental Health Center and the Courts to secure involuntary evaluation.

If you respond below- with your County and State- I will be happy to help you with who to contact to initiate this process.

In the meantime, as hard as it may be, the only way your are going to help your grandson is to STOP enabling him. This means cutting him off from everything accept emotional support toward getting help for his problem.

The attached link explains this in detail.

Bill :

  1. Cease doing anything that allows the alcoholic to continue their current lifestyle.

  2. Do nothing to 'help' the alcoholic that he could or would be doing himself if he were not drinking.

  3. Stop lying, covering up, or making excuses for the alcoholic, such as 'calling in sick' for him.

  4. Do not take on responsibilites or duties that rightfully belong to the alcoholic.

  5. Do not give or loan the alcoholic money.

  6. Don't 'rescue' the alcoholic by bailing him out of jail or paying his fines.

  7. Do not scold, argue or plead with the alcoholic.

  8. Do not react to his latest misadventures, so that he can respond to your reaction rather than his actions.

  9. Do not try to drink with the alcoholic.

  10. Set boundaries, don't make threats, and stick to them.

  11. Carefully explain to the alcoholic the boundaries that you have set, and explain that the boundaries are for you, not for him.


  1. Many times when an alcoholic's enabling system is removed, the fear will force them to seek help, but there are no guarantees.

  2. To learn more about enabling and the family disease of alcoholism, attend an Al-Anon meeting in your area.

Bill :

Again- if you wish- send me the county and state in which you live and I will be happy to define local resources to help you.

Kind regards,


Please Leave Positive Rating so that I receive credit for my time

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Not an acceptable answer to this matter. I should make my living this way. I asked for

help not readily known answers anyone of the general public would know. I expect a reasonable answer. Try again.

Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
With all due respect-
Please review what I have provided and I will be happy to respond.
Kindly, Bill
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Bill, The real problem is that he is not willing to seek help How can we proceed with this unwil ling person? We are aware of the facilities available but cannot get him to seek help. Any suggestions on this?
Expert:  Bill replied 5 years ago.
Sometimes when the alcoholic's problems reach the crisis level, the only choice left to his family is professional intervention.
Interventions should be carefully planned and developed by professional substance abuse counselors who are experienced in such procedures. The only purpose of an intervention is to get the alcoholic to go into a treatment program.
Most alcohol and drug treatment centers have counselors who are trained to help families prepare for the confrontation, which always takes place in a "controlled" environment, specifically selected to put the alcoholic in a position in which he is most likely to listen.
Sometimes, the intervention comes as a total surprise to the alcoholic, but recently new techniques have been developed in which the members of the intervention team tell the alcoholic that they are talking with a counselor about his drinking problem several days prior to the actual intervention.
Do you have enough concerned family members that would be willing to participate in an intervention?
If so- I would take this approach.
I am glad you are aware of community resources for Alcohol Treatment. Most are staffed with people that can conduct these Interventions.
Kind regards, Bill
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