Do you need help to stop drinking? If so then you are probably an alcoholic. If not, then you just have a drinking problem. Those are the definitions that most people go by, anyway.
The true alcoholic cannot stop drinking on their own. They need help. If this is your situation then you should ask for help as well. Eventually you can get to a point where you are more independent in your recovery, but in the beginning, it is important to have help.
For me, this help came in the form of treatment. I went to rehab. Now I had gone to rehab twice before and it did not work for me, but the third time I went, it did work. What changed?
I had changed. I had surrendered on the third trip. The first two trips to rehab, I was not anywhere close to being “done.” I was not ready to stop. In each case, I had a reservation about drinking or using drugs in the future. I simply was not ready to change.
The third trip to rehab, I was completely defeated. I felt like I had been beat up by alcoholism and addiction. This is the state you need to be in for success. If you have too much energy, or enthusiasm when you are getting sober, then you are going to fail. I have seen this happen over and over again. People come into treatment and they are too darn excited about it. When this happens, they always relapse. Always.
So I recommend rehab. It worked for me, but only when I was truly ready to stop drinking. I was ready to accept help. Now if the person in question is trying to define what is acceptable help for their problem, then they are not ready to stop. Let them go drink some more. If they are trying to call the shots and figure out the best rehab to go to and so on, then they are not finished drinking. They have more drinking to do. They might say that they are ready to stop, but if they are trying to manage their recovery, they are doomed to fail.
It is only when the alcoholic can truly throw up their hands and accept any form of help for their problem that they are really ready to make the necessary changes. They have to be willing to do just about anything in order to have a chance at success. But once they become willing like this, almost any path to sobriety will work for them.