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Adult Children of Alcoholic Parents Growing Up Around Alcohol Addiction

Difficulty expressing and regulating emotions can affect your overall well-being and contribute to challenges in your personal relationships. A 2012 study that considered 359 adult children of parents with AUD found that they tended to fall within five distinct personality subtypes. One of these types, termed Awkward/Inhibited by researchers, was characterized by feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness. If your mom or dad is ready to get control of their drinking, finding a treatment option that works for them is the most important step. Some treatment options that your mom or dad might consider include medication, support groups, or structured rehab programs. If you are still a minor or young adult, seek out the support of a trusted adult before you talk to your parents about their drinking.

Don’t Enable Their Behavior

It can also cause crippling effects on the alcoholic’s loved ones, especially their children. There are, however, many options that you can take for yourself. Just because your parent is unwilling or unable to change does not mean that you cannot dramatically improve your own life, emotional well-being, and physical health. There are many resources and support groups out there that specialize in helping the children and other family members of alcoholics. Parents may often feel compelled to provide their children with a place to live.

  • Living with a parent who has a substance use problem is hard.
  • There are so many things that alcoholic families don’t talk about – to each other and especially to the outside world.
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Helping an Alcoholic Parent Seek Treatment

But, there are many available options for AUD rehab, and you are likely to find one that would work for her. These kinds of conversations can be hard for everyone involved. But mustering the courage to have that conversation could be the thing that saves your mom’s life.

When You Stop Enabling Them

We can help you not only explore family therapy options but also identify tailored treatment programs to meet your unique needs or those of a loved one. When a parent has an alcohol use disorder, it’s not the child’s responsibility to get the parent into alcohol treatment. However, other adults can certainly step in to encourage the parent to seek treatment. One of the most common issues that children of alcoholics struggle with is blaming themselves or thinking that they could be doing more for their parent. This is especially true when the alcoholic drunkenly (and falsely) blames that child to their face. No one is responsible for someone else’s drinking problem.

how to deal with alcoholic parent

Is there an aunt, uncle, grandparent, neighbor, or family friend who you feel comfortable going to? Consider getting support from that person before talking to your parents. And if it would make you more comfortable, ask them to be there with you during the conversation. If you’re worried about your parent’s drinking, know that you’re not alone. Many people, both children and adults, have concerns about their parent’s drinking habits.

How to Talk to Your Dad About His Alcohol Use

Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out for support and professional help. There is probably an Al-Anon Family Group meeting nearby where you will find people who understand what you’re going through. It’s by no means an easy process to detach from a loved one with an addiction, so don’t try to go it alone. By sharing your experience with others who have been there, you can find strength and hope to help you better deal with the situation. While you have detached from the problem, you can continue to encourage your loved one to seek treatment for their addiction.

No matter your background or expertise, your loved one will likely need outside help. It’s common for someone with AUD to try to blame their drinking on circumstances or others around them, including those who are closest to them. It’s common to hear them say, “The only reason I drink is because you…” However, there are certain things you can do that may help relieve the pressure, and in some cases, also better help your loved one start their path to recovery.

Explaining Alcoholism to a Child

AUD is a mental health condition that can prove very difficult to manage and overcome. Regardless of whether you’re an adult with a family of your own, or you’re a child or teen who still lives Sober House at home, having a parent with alcohol addiction can be incredibly challenging. One of the most important ways that you can support your parents and family is by taking care of yourself.

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