Q. Family peace has been ruined because of alcohol. What can be done?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Nov 06, 2017

Hello doctor,

My brother-in-law is an alcoholic. He drinks a lot and verbally abuses my sister. When he gets back to normal, he says he does not remember what he said or what wrong he did. He is involved in binge drinking and smoking for the last 15 years. He says he wants to quit but is unable to. It has been five years since my sister got married to him. My sister gets very disturbed when he returns home drunk and in an unconscious state. Many times he is found drunk on the roadsides. People bring him home in semi or unconscious state. He talks continuously on the phone when he is drunk. When he is not drunk, he talks very little and remains silent. Sometimes he weeps a lot and gets emotional because he is not having children and it has been five years since his marriage. He is not ready for an IVF. He wants children naturally. There is also a dispute in his house among his brothers regarding a property. We want him to quit alcohol and smoking. He himself also wants to quit but is helpless. Please advise me on how to help him quit alcohol.

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concerns.

  • First of all, I would like to inform you that your brother-in-law is suffering from alcoholism which means he is completely dependent on alcohol and everything is disturbed because of this. It also seems to me that his judgment is impaired which is creating a problem.
  • Regarding helping him in quitting alcohol, you are requested to see a psychiatrist without delay. Unsupervised stoppage of alcohol after years of abuse can cause a lot of problems and it is never advisable to quit alcohol after years of use without medical supervision. I also like to inform you that the prescribed treatment will address almost all the problems one would encounter when quitting alcohol. 
  • I also feel that there may be underlying depression as evidenced by crying spells and less communication precipitated by the property dispute. 
  • I suggest you get the following reports and get back to me.
  1. LFT (liver function tests) with GGT (gamma-glutamyl transferase)
  2. CBC (complete blood count)
  3. Blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine
  4. Thyroid panel
  5. Abdominal ultrasonography.

Thanks and regards.

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