Having someone in the home struggling with alcoholism can put extreme pressure on families. Rabbi Shmuley says the main cause of alcoholism is pain, and alcoholics are often trying to escape financial problems, personal relationships or their children. "People are under more and more pressure these days—especially when we overwork ourselves," he says. " Also, drinking means that you don't have to communicate with people about your problems—you can make your problems, for a little while, seem to go away."
If you have a problem, Rabbi Shmuley says to acknowledge it and seek help with a counselor or support program like Alcoholics Anonymous. Recognize that you need to learn to talk about your problems instead of drinking them away. "The more we can inspire communication between spouses, the more we'll be able to unburden ourselves of the emotional pain of life," he says.
If you have a relative who needs help, tell the person that you're not there to judge, but he they does need help. "Sometimes they need to hear it from someone they love," Rabbi Shmuley says.
Today's Shmuleyism: "The rampant alcoholism we see in families across America is caused by pain. They're struggling to keep up with life and wrestling with emotions like failure and loneliness. Rather than confronting their problems, they're drinking them away. The healthy alternative is to know that when it comes to our problems, we're not alone."