Hello, Max, and welcome to the Depression Forum,
My understanding of alcoholism is that the alcoholic may not be willing to get help until he/she reaches the point of complete defeat and accepts the fact that she is unable to control her drinking. That's when one often tries to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in an effort to have some guidance in controlling the illness, giving one's will over to a Higher Power for guidance.(The spiritual life becomes extremely important in remission for Alcoholics Anonymous members; it serves as a guide for all their rehabilitation and abstinence from alcohol for the rest of their lives.)
Alcoholism cannot be cured; it can go into remission only if the patient does not touch alcohol. Doctors now believe that alcoholism may be considered a severe allergy. As in all allergies, one must stay away from the substance to which one is sensitive in order to have symptoms relieved.
Your route to follow might be to persuade her to see a psychiatrist or her personal physician at least to try one of the newer medications on the market which make drinking alcohol very distasteful to the alcoholic. Then, if she is willing, proceed with intervention.
She is damaging her brain by drinking, as I'm sure she already knows.
Your help is going to be invaluable, but at the same time, you must understand that an alcoholic may refuse any effort on your part to assist until the drinker is ready to accept the fact that she can't do that and that she has no control over her ability to stop.
First things first, however. Get her in to see a physician if possible; if that doesn't work, call Alcoholics Anonymous and see if they will send some people over to talk to your sister. And if that doesn't work, try the intervention.
You must not assume that you are a failure if none of these things work. She may be one who must reach the point of helplessness before seeking help.
Take care of yourself; she is very fortunate to have you so concerned and interested in helping. I hope you will be blessed for that.
P.S. Three sources for very helpful reading regarding character and
the remission of the illness in the alcoholic are the following:
1. The Hazeldon Foundation's work Called "Alcoholics Anonymous".
(The original book is no longer in publication; this is a new version
and very interesting.)
2. Paperback published by Hazeldon Foundation: "Keep It Simple".
3. Paperback by Dr.Tian Dayton called "Forgivng and Moving On".
(Selected daily readings for "powerful inspiration for personal change".)
Post Edited (It's Genetic) : 2/14/2012 7:25:12 PM (GMT-7)