Is it bad to use alcohol as a crutch to keep the family together?

Yes. Sweeping things under the rug does not solve family problem. Stop tiptoeing around and honestly address the problems. Get family counseling if needed.
The only way... ...Alcohol keeps any family together is when they are all too drunk to crawl away from the table. It is, bar none, the greatest threat to any family, and is likely to be what's actually making it come apart at the seams.