You are here:

Addiction to Alcohol/Alcoholic sister is out f control


My sister, Loretta has been an alcoholic for 28 yrs. when sober she can be kind, but being sober is very rare. This past w/e she showed up at my wedding renewal ceremony drunk. She made advances at several men, stormed in and out of the ceremony showing no interest in the ceremony. She was very hostile to my guest, and the most unfortunate incident was - one of the guest  - who was meeting her for the 1st time saw one of the children niear her - simply asked was the child hers (due to  drinking she was unable to conceive children) my sister I am told reacted very irrationally and threatened the woman with a knife - later apologizes. I did nit find this out until the cereminy was over.  The guest was very hurt and cried, but has  chosen not to repress charges.  This same guest has said that she has more concerns about my sister jealousy toward me.   The guest has not disclosed how she came to that conclusion but I assume things that my sister said. Later the caterer said my sister made several comments about me and ge too belief that she is also very jealous iof me.  My husband andi tried to reach out to her but she wont accept our calls. We have asked her not come to our home until she seeks treatment. My mother - (her enabler ) does not  agree with my choice to  cut off contact w/ her.    Pls help!,,,

Hi Gwen,

My apologies for the late response.  Your sister has managed to sustain a severe addiction for almost three decades.  That means she's exceptionally skilled at manipulating others so she can avoid consequences that must have developed over the years due to her drinking.  

I don't feel it's worth it to reach out to her.  Why would you want to do that?  Your sister is, in effect, in control by virtue of the fact she does what she wants.  You and others end up picking up the pieces, and she never changes.  As her enabler, your mother is probably at least as unwell as your sister.  Let them play their game together; they use others and the social environment as the stage for their drama.  You'll lose every time.

Yes, demand she get treatment and if she doesn't, tell her you don't want such a problematic individual in your midst.  You set the ground rules, and not her.  Your mother is angry because you cause her to rethink her actions -- nothing a codependent/enabler likes to do.  

Your sister will continue to wreak havoc on the family if she doesn't get treatment.  But you or anyone else except the legal system will likely be unable to get her there.


Addiction to Alcohol

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Peter L.


Any questions regarding addictive behavior, withdrawal symptoms, selecting treatment options, relapse prevention, defining abuse vs. dependence, self-help groups, denial and resistance, building motivation, physical health effects of alcohol, substitution of other addictive substances; holistic approaches to addiction recovery.


I have been a counselor, educator, and supervisor in the addiction field for 28 years. I hold alcohol and drug counselor certification and licenses in three states. I have experience with adolescents and adults, ranging from those who are experimental/casual users of alcohol to those with very progressed addictive disorders.

Masters Degree - Behavioral Science CADAC, LADC, LADC1

©2017 All rights reserved.