It's important to keep in mind that many alcoholics don't realize their drinking has gotten out of control. In many cases, it's the objective voice of a friend or family member that brings the problem to the alcoholic's attention. Once the problem is realized, there are many treatments available to help the abuser overcome the addiction. These include support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as in-patient and outpatient programs. These treatments help alcohol abusers to 'dry out', or rid their bodies of alcohol, and provide counseling for support. It's important that family members and friends don't cover-up for the alcoholic by making excuses for problem behavior, or by trying to conceal the problem. This, typically referred to as 'enabling', generally only makes the problem worse, because the alcoholic is allowed to maintain the illusion that there's no problem. Instead, family members and friends should try to help the alcoholic recognize the destructive effects of the disease, and provide the support necessary to guide the alcoholic toward recovery. For information about helping an alcohol abuser, consult a health care professional in your area.