Does Someone You Care About Have a Problem With Alcohol or Drugs?

Being close to someone with an alcohol and/or drug problem is a difficult situation. You may feel a wide range of feelings … alone, angry, tired, hopeless, afraid or concerned. There are many resources in the Austin community and Central Texas to help get you the information you need and the support to take action.

Tools to Assess Others

Assessment tools do not provide a diagnosis of alcohol or drug abuse, alcohol or drug dependence or any other medical condition. The information provided here cannot substitute for a full evaluation by a health professional, and should only be used as a guide to understanding your family member or friend's alcohol and/or drug use and the potential health issues involved with it.

Is my child using?
If you're a parent concerned about your child's alcohol and/or drug use.

What are the warning signs?
Wondering if a loved one has a substance abuse problem? Find out the warning signs that indicate someone is using alcohol or drugs.

What To Do

How can I get someone to stop using?

Although you probably want the substance use to stop as soon as possible, immediate abstinence has certain risks, including withdrawal symptoms with serious medical consequences. Many people need to be admitted to a detoxification center to help them physically withdraw.

Even if detoxification is not necessary, a formal, structured treatment program is often vital for sustained abstinence. A healthcare professional or addiction counselor can help you and the person in need assess your options.

How does substance abuse affect the entire family?

How much a family is affected by a substance use problem depends on how long they have lived with it, how advanced it is, how much shame and secrecy surround it, and the roles and responsibilities of the person with the disorder. If the problem is left untreated, family members will also develop destructive behaviors, such as denial, enabling, and co-dependency.

How are you affected by your loved one's drinking?

See how his or her drinking is affecting you.

Who To Call

There are a number of resources available for families to get help. Al-Anon, a 12 Step program, whose meetings are readily available in the Austin community, provides support and guidance for family members and friends, whether their loved one accepts treatment or refuses to get help.

Other resources on this website you can consider are interventionists, treatment centers/programs, and addiction counselors/therapists. If you need assistance choosing the right resource, call 512-640-9661 or email

While most treatment centers have family programs for their clients, some of them open their family program to the public. Here is a program open to the public.

The Arbor Family Program is a three and a half day intensive for anyone in the community who wants a life changing experience that offers hope and healing to families affected by addiction. It is not necessary to have a loved one in treatment at The Arbor to be able to participate.

For more information see our website at the link above or contact:

Amy Alden, LCDCi
Family Program Manager
The Arbor
Georgetown, TX