In Alateen and Al‑Anon we learn that we did not cause the disease of alcoholism, we cannot control it, and we cannot cure it. We can do nothing directly to get an alcoholic to stop drinking. Persuasion, scolding, bitter silences, and tears may only put an alcoholic on the defensive. This could increase the alcoholic’s feelings of guilt, which can lead to more problems for us.
Although it is possible to stop drinking, there is no cure for alcoholism. Like diabetes, alcoholism can be arrested, but not cured. A single drink could start the drinking again.
Perhaps they do realize there is something wrong with the way they drink, but are ashamed or not ready to admit it. Perhaps they are in denial. This means they cannot see that there is a problem. They may have tried to overcome their drinking and failed. Many alcoholics give up hope for sobriety because of this.
The compulsion to drink is too strong for her. She may not want to drink. However, her desire for alcohol is so overpowering that she cannot control it. It is a drive stronger than anything in her life, no matter how much it makes her and others suffer.
Many people drink because they like the way alcohol makes them feel. But some drinkers have no control. If your father drinks so much that he gets into trouble, and his life has become unmanageable, he may be an alcoholic.
All kinds of people are alcoholics—people from all walks of life. Only a small percentage of alcoholics fit the stereotype of “derelict” or “bum” panhandling on the street. Most alcoholics appear to be functioning fairly well, but their drinking affects some part of their lives. Their family life, their social life, or their work may suffer. It might be all three. Alcoholics are people whose drinking causes a continuing and growing problem in any area of their lives. * * From Alateen—Hope for Children of Alcoholics (B-3).