True alcoholics can't be helped. Though sometimes they can help themselves. Not everyone who drinks a lot is an alcoholic. Though alcoholic is probably the way to bet. If he's sensible enough to realize he needs to stop drinking, he may not be a true alcoholic, and he may be able to reduce his drinking eventually to nothing. Only way to find out is to try. And cold-turkey will leave him sick and miserable for quite a while. He's already mentioned that. Most folks aren't able to do it long enough for it to work. I watched my parents trying to quit smoking and drinking. Dad never quite managed it, but did back off quite a ways on the alcohol. Mom quit drinking & smoking, but not until after she quit hanging around my dad. Which happened when I was 4, and it was decades before she quit the smoking and drinking.I couldn't disagree more. Alcoholics don't have the capacity to "moderate" drinking, not in the long term at least.
Some of the financial logic y'all are applying makes sense, but to an alcoholic/drug addict in the middle of a craving, it goes out the window. A guy needs a couple months clean and sober for the fog to lift and logic to have any relevance in his mind.
I managed not to start drinking alcohol, and to quit smoking while I was still quite young. Caffeine and sugar are my drugs of choice these days, and I'm way past not young anymore, though maybe not yet old. The guy I mentioned didn't want to stop drinking, or even back down a bit. I've no idea how long he lasted after he got thrown out of the USAF, but I suspect it wasn't very long. If you get drunk on your first drink, like my friend, probably nothing is going to help. If you can back it down you can reduce the dependence. Otherwise I'd weight over 600lbs. I've managed not to hit 300 yet, but I'm a lot closer than I'd like to be.