How to Deal with an Alcoholic Parent As an Adult: 15 Steps

Even those with a higher genetic risk for AUD can often take a harm reduction approach when they learn to better understand their triggers, risk factors, and engagement with substances, Peifer says. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software package (version 23, International Business Machines Corporation, US), and the results were presented in table form. Descriptive statistics were used for anxiety, depression, and self-esteem scores. Independent “t”-test was used for comparison of means between two groups. A cross-sectional comparative survey research design was adopted for the present study.

how to deal with alcoholic parent

According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 14.5 million people over the age of 12 had an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). Please include what you were doing when this page came up and the Cloudflare Ray ID found at the bottom of this page. Maintain a positive attitude and steer clear of labels such as “alcoholic” or “addict” wherever possible. The scariest aspect of organ failure is that it can occur gradually or all at once, and it is ultimately fatal. Alcohol abuse has both immediate and long-term effects on the body. Reach out to us today by filling out the contact form below with your name, contact information, and a brief message about your recovery journey.

Step 3: Learning How to Deal With an Alcoholic Parent

If parents refuse to acknowledge that alcohol is affecting their social or financial wellbeing, children can discuss how its long-term use will affect them physically, because those effects are eventually impossible to ignore. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), there are an estimated 18 million adults in America who abuse alcohol, and roughly 7 million children live with parents who have abused alcohol to varying degrees. If your parent is struggling with alcoholism or other substance abuse issues, help is out there. Nar-Anon is based on the the Al-Anon model, only Nar-Anon is complementary to Narcotics Anonymous. Although Nar-Anon is primarily focused on helping those whose families have been impacted by drug use, they also offer support for family members of those impacted by alcoholism. Al-Anon is the largest and most well-known support group for families of alcoholics.

  • Children with an alcoholic parent are at a higher risk for cognitive, psychological, and behavioral issues than their peers.
  • It is important to remember you are not alone, and taking care of your own wellbeing is the most important first step to helping your parent.
  • You never knew who would be there or what mood theyd be in when you came home from school.
  • Addicts are often unpredictable, sometimes abusive, and always checked-out emotionally (and sometimes physically).

AUD is considered a brain disorder, because alcohol abuse causes changes to the brain that worsen AUD and cause the disorder to progress, causing a cycle of dependence that is difficult to break alone. If you’re living with an alcoholic parent, their alcoholism may have a daily, negative impact on your life. Teenagers may notice that a parent with alcoholism has trouble paying bills or upholding family obligations. They may also lash out, either with words or actions, and it may be hard to predict what they’ll do next. Alcohol changes the way the brain works, and this can result in a normal loving, soft-spoken parent becoming loud or aggressive.

Stress, coping, and problem behaviors in young adulthood

It is normal to want to help your parent, but you also want to make sure that it does not destroy your mental health. You may also fear giving your parent financial support if they’ve lost their job and are likely to spend any money you give them on alcohol. Your first step to helping your parent is to identify the boundaries that you expect them to follow.

By Buddy T

Buddy T is a writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Because he is a member of a support group that stresses the importance of anonymity at the public level, he does not use his photograph or his real name on this website. If you grew up in a home with a parent who misused alcohol, you’re probably familiar with the feeling of never knowing what to expect from one day to the next.

Anxiety, depression, self-esteem among children of alcoholic and nonalcoholic parents

It can be a relief torealize that some of yourstruggles are common to ACOAs. You will be asked to be patient and understanding and to realize that a situation that took years to develop will not completely change overnight. However, you can feel encouraged that the alcoholic has acknowledged that there is a problem and is doing something about it. ¶ If you have relatives who are special to you, try to spend time with them. One 14‐year‐old girl whose mother drinks too much manages to spend her spare time with an aunt who lives nearby.

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