Alcoholism is a growing problem in the United States and all across the world, with millions of people now known to be trapped in the downward spiral that is known as alcoholism. There are many myths about alcoholism, and one way that people can learn how to help an alcoholic is to become educated about the disease that is alcoholism. Many mistakenly believe that everyone can stop drinking alcohol at any time, that once someone starts drinking regularly it is a simple choice to stop. After years of research it is now known that certain environmental factors contribute to the risks of alcoholism if someone begins to drink. Once someone starts using alcohol regularly, certain changes take place throughout their body that lead to the body’s dependence on drinking. The body becomes physically and mentally tolerant of and dependent on the substance and it’s no longer a simple choice to stop. Often the alcoholic needs a great deal of support and alcohol treatment to break his or her addiction and to be able to learn how to live without needing alcohol or turning to alcohol in times of stress. In addition to learning more about the disease that is alcoholism, there are many other things that people can do when they want to help an alcoholic stop using alcohol. One of the best ways to help an alcoholic is by encouraging them to receive treatment for their disease so that they can become free of the need for alcohol and live a better life. Many times alcoholics may reach out to a friend or loved one and talk to them about their need to stop drinking. When an alcoholic is in this frame of mind, it is good to encourage them in a non-judgmental way that they need to take action to stop drinking. Another great activity to encourage an alcoholic to stop drinking when they are in this frame of mind is to have them make a list of why they want to quit drinking. This way, if they change their mind later, you can refer back to the list as an added encouragement to get the alcoholic to quit drinking. An additional way to help an alcoholic to quit drinking is to encourage them to attend a local support group for alcoholics in your community. Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) is one of the most well-known support groups for alcoholics, but there are other groups in addition to Alcoholics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded by alcoholics to offer a 12 Step plan for alcoholics to follow to encourage themselves and others to stop drinking. The 12 Steps are seen as a way of life to use over and over to help alcoholics stay sober for the rest of their lives instead of just a one time to complete and be finished with. Alcoholism is seen as something that must be acknowledged and dealt with for the rest of and alcoholic’s life.