Navigating Neighborly Relations: Dealing with an Alcoholic Neighbor

Having neighbors is unavoidable, and it’s really the luck of the draw whether you get good ones or bad ones. You don’t know who you’re going to be moving next to, or who might move in next to you.

Sometimes, you’ll have a neighbor who is quiet and keeps to themselves, maybe a smile and a wave when you cross paths, and that’s about the best you can hope for.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll actually become friends with your neighbor and get to know them and have a buddy who lives next door – perfect!

Other times, however, your neighbor will have issues that can influence your own life in a negative way and the worst part of this is that they live right next door – there’s no escaping.

Our homes should be a special place for us, where we can relax, feel safe, and decompress after a busy day. But when you have a neighbor who’s screaming, yelling, blaring music, stomping around, it can really hinder your life and your peace.

If you discover that your neighbor is an alcoholic, it can be really tricky to deal with. Maybe, when they aren’t drinking, they’re totally normal and easy to be around as a neighbor but they change once the alcohol comes out? Here are some thoughts…

Do You Want To Help Them?

It’s tricky to decide if it’s really your place to try to get help for someone else’s drinking problem. When it’s a family member or a loved one, that’s one thing. When it’s a stranger or a neighbor you don’t know very well, you might worry about overstepping.

On the other hand, sometimes people don’t have anyone else in the world to look out for them, and you could be the only person who might ever even considering helping them recovery from alcohol.

Is that a burden you want to take on? It’s not really your responsibility, but if their sobriety could improve your own living situation, and obviously could help them, it’s something to think about.

Have Boundaries

While empathy is important, it is equally crucial to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. Alcohol addiction can lead to unpredictable behavior, which might affect your peace and safety.

Set clear personal boundaries, and avoid enabling their harmful actions or becoming personally involved in their addiction struggles.

You don’t want to open up the door to a point where they feel like they can wake you up in the middle of the night, ask you for alcohol and put you in an awkward situation, and so on.

Involve The Community

Depending on where you live and how close everyone is, you could considering involving various community resources and other neighbors.

Reach out to other neighbors and local community organizations to discuss the situation collectively. A united effort can help ensure that everyone’s concerns are heard and that the issue is approached with sensitivity and understanding.

Community involvement may also encourage your neighbor to seek help and know that they are not alone.

Look Out For Yourself

It would be nice if we could save the entire world, and helping a neighbor is certainly closer to home than someone on the other side of the world, but you still need to be mindful of your own peace and well-being.

Dealing with an alcoholic neighbor can be emotionally draining and stressful. Practice self-care and prioritize your well-being during this process.

Engage in stress-relieving activities, connect with supportive friends and family, and seek professional help if needed to cope with any emotional challenges you may encounter if you do decide to become involved in helping your neighbor work towards recovery.

Being in a position of caring for someone can be taxing, draining, and can certainly take a toll.

Category: Articles
Martijn van Eijk
Martijn is a passionate creator and the driving force behind StopDrinking.com. He created this website to assist individuals and their families in conquering alcohol addiction and finding a joyful, fulfilling life after alcohol. With a deep understanding of the challenges they face, he empowers readers with valuable insights and practical guidance on their journey towards recovery. Author of the Stop Shaking Book.