What To Do If You Have an Alcoholic Parent
Did you know that alcoholism affects nearly 17.6 million Americans?
One left untreated, alcoholism can severely impact a person’s financial, professional, personal, and social life. Sadly, a person’s dependency on alcohol just doesn’t leave a negative impact on their personal life. It also drastically affects the loved ones in the life of the alcoholic.
If you believe your parent is suffering from alcoholism or a drinking problem, learning how to cope and deal with an alcoholic parent can leave you feeling worried. If you’re looking for guidance on what you should do if you have an alcoholic parent, we’ve created a complete guide with the steps that you should take to seek treatment for your parent. Keep reading to learn more.
Learn About Alcoholism
Alcoholism is a type of disease, which means that it creates symptoms in a person’s body. Thankfully, there are treatment options for alcoholism if an alcoholic is interested in seeking these options.
By educating yourself about alcoholism, you can get a better understanding of the negative consequences but this disease is having on your parent. Also, as you expand your knowledge about alcoholism, you can learn that the best steps that you should take to get your parents to consider treatment.
Understand the Difference Between Addiction and Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism, but you should be aware that these are two separate problems. The easiest way to distinguish the difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism is by identifying the behaviors of your parents on drinking alcohol.
When a person drinks more alcohol than they should, such as binge drinking, it’s a sign of alcohol abuse. However, alcoholism means that the parent’s body is physically dependent on alcohol. If they don’t drink enough alcohol, they begin to show symptoms of withdrawal.
Approach Your Parents About Your Concerns
Keep in the back of your mind that even if you do decide to approach your parent about their alcoholism, you can’t force them to stop their habits. You may even have difficulty having them see that they have a problem with alcohol. The best step that you can take to help your parent is to approach them, letting them know that you believe they have a problem with alcohol.
It could be scary to address your parent’s potential alcoholism, so feeling nervous or even terrified is a natural reaction. If you are afraid that your parent’s reaction to you express your concern is I’m going to be violent, you should make sure that you don’t address the concern when you’re alone.
You should also make sure to not address your concern when your parents are intoxicated. While it can be a scary experience to go through, the risks of identifying your parent’s alcoholism or outweighed by the potential benefits of having a parent recover.
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Starting the Conversation
Keep in the back your mind that the main point of the conversation that you’re bringing up shouldn’t be to convince your parents at their an alcoholic, but it’s rather from the standpoint that you’re concerned that they may have a problem with alcohol. You should also make the main point of the conversation that you’re addressing the problem because you care about them, and be sure to continue saying throughout the conversation that you’re addressing this problem because you’re concerned about their health.
Prepare for your parent to deny that they have a problem with alcohol. If this happens during the conversation, you can listen to incidents or behaviors that your parent has shown that I’ve made you feel concerned for the well-being. You could also mention how the behaviors and the incidents that you’ve observed and the impact that they’ve had on you.
Also, take note to make sure that the conversation isn’t one-sided. You shouldn’t make your parents feel like they need to get defensive about the statement that you’re making. And easy way to avoid making your parents feel like they need to defend themselves is to ask open-ended questions.
However, you should make sure that you stick to the main point of the conversation. It can be easy to get sidetracked with speculation or even trying to find a reason why they’ve developed a problem with alcohol.
If the conversation hasn’t gone how you were expecting it to, you can try to agree with your parents to sit down and have a conversation with them at a later date if they continue to deny that they have a problem with alcohol.
If you’ve discovered that your parent isn’t willing to get help with the problem, you need to find help for yourself. The first at three to get help is the speak out and share as much of the problem as you’re comfortable with sharing with someone else. Talk to somebody that you trust so that you aren’t processing the situation by yourself.
Finding a support group to get involved with that allows you to talk to other people that I’ve been in a similar situation is a great step that you can take towards finding ways to heal.
Living With an Alcoholic Parent
Finding ways to live with an alcoholic parent can be difficult, especially because it’s heartbreaking to watch someone that you love struggle with addiction. Continuing to educate yourself about the dangers of alcoholism and how you can encourage your left one to get help is the best way for you to go about dealing with your alcoholic parent if they’re in denial.
Are you interested in learning more about how to help your parents or guardian into recovery? Click here to contact us today to learn how we can help.