Helping a parent with an alcohol problem.

At any age, dealing with a parent with an alcohol problem can be upsetting and stressful, but you’re not alone. Talk to our team to learn more about how we can help you get the help treatment and help your parents need. Alcoholism can have a detrimental impact on all aspects of a persons life both personally and professionally. It doesn’t stop with the individual though, it can have a negative effect on those close to the alcoholic, especially their children.

Is my parent an alcoholic?

The effects of alcohol and alcoholism is different for everyone. Below are a list of key signs of alcohol addiction, though some alcoholics will show many signs, others, like high-functioning alcoholics, will show very few signs. This list contains the most common signs the majority of alcoholics will show:

  • Prioritising drinking over other obligations
  • Increased irritability and rapid changes in mood
  • Memory loss or complete blackouts
  • A change in their appearance, behaviour and/or social circle
  • Drinks alone or tries to hide the amount they’re drinking
  • Making excuses for the amount consumed or bad behaviour
  • Isolating themselves from friends and families
  • Frequently hungover or poorly

How does an alcoholic parent impact the life of their children?

Due to the above symptoms it’s easy to understand why the relationship between parents and their children is very disrupted by the impact of an alcoholic addiction. 

Children can be left feeling like no one understands their situation, lonely and scared; often growing up to be more isolated socially than children from nonalcoholic families. 

How do I help my parent with a drinking problem?

Firstly know you cannot force a person to stop drinking, go to rehab or even see they have a drinking problem. The best help you can provide them is to try and make them aware of your concern and if needed seek assistance on how to find them treatment.

Those with a drinking problem can have bad mood swings which can make it hard for others to feel comfortable raising their concerns to them. Though talking to your mum or dad can be the best way of expressing your thoughts and feelings. Here’s what we’d recommend.

  1. Learn about Alcohol Addiction
    1. Before talking to your parents it is useful to have some knowledge about alcoholism, you’ll find further resources on our website about the addition and treatment options. National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA) is also a resource when researching 
  2. Seek guidance from a professional for guidance on talking to your parent. Give our team a call if you would like advice on how to approach them about seeking help for their addiction.
  3. Choose a safe place to talk to your parent and make sure they aren’t currently drinking.
  4. Key to a successful talk is honesty and compassion. Talk to your mum or dad honestly about your emotions and feelings and show compassion for the way they feel, always keeping in mind that they are suffering from an illness.
  5. Stay patient and calm, at times the road to recovery can be frustrating and confusing for both the addict and yourself, it will take time.
  6. Research the right treatment plan for your parent. Talk to a member of the Regain Recovery team who will be able to advise if a detox is required prior to a treatment programme.
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