Secrecy is very often a feature of families when there is a problem drinker in the family. The family often closes ranks because of the stigma and shame associated with alcoholism in the mistaken impression that they are protecting, or being loyal to, their drinker.
One problem with this approach is that addiction tends to flourish in secrecy. This means that, in some circumstances, protecting the drinker can actually mean protecting their drinking.
Another issue with secrecy is that the family’s social life tends to shrink. Part of the protection is that the family stop inviting friends round in case the drinker is drinking heavily. Or, the family will stop going to parties and/or events for similar reasons. After a while the invitations stop coming.
However, one of the most important reasons for breaking out of secrecy is that it (secrecy) makes it difficult to reach out for help and support. This video discusses some of these issues.