People often feel sorry for, or angry with, alcoholics. These days, they are starting to realize that people close to the alcoholics are also damaged by their actions. Alcohol addiction strikes at everyone around the alcoholic. Wives, husbands, partners; children, mothers, fathers; employers, employees, staff; and even random strangers who were just “in the wrong place” at the time. Almost always, it is not the intention of the alcoholic to cause problems. The person addicted to alcohol often has feelings of despair, helplessness, self-loathing and fear. Sadly, they become wrapped up in their own misery and fail to notice the effects that they have on other people. Because of their dreadful introspection, alcoholics then enter a downward spiral, where they drink to forget or to cope with their unpleasant feelings, and the alcohol simply makes those feelings worse. Eventually, the alcoholic believes himself or herself unable to cope without drinking. Because of the addling effects that alcohol has on the brain, the alcoholic will start to blame circumstances and other people for his or her problems. It becomes a case of believing, “I’m not an alcoholic. I only drink because…” followed by some excuse. It stops the person from admitting the problem/ In order to learn how to stop drinking alcohol, the person will need plenty of support, from loved ones and friends, professional organizations, and therapists. However, none of this will help if the alcoholic has not first admitted without reservation to the problem. The first step to helping the alcohol, then, is to get that person to admit to the problem. This is not easy. Each time you help, it becomes another excuse for the alcoholic. He may crave the attention that drinking gives (reinforcing the effects of self-pity); she may see the help as insufficient (no matter how unfair that may be). Unfortunately, many alcoholics admit their problems only after they have lost everything that is dear to them: Family, children, friends, job, house… Once the alcoholic has admitted to the problem and agrees to seek help, then is the time to support. The alcoholic needs tools to learn how to stop drinking alcohol. In addition to the expert advice from organizations, there are books, hypnotherapy, complementary therapies, and retreats (some of them free). The important thing to remember is that alcohol is a highly addictive drug, and so alcohol addiction (usually) needs more than one approach. Mixing together as many different approaches as possible, all working together, will give the greatest chance of success.