My Parent is an Alcoholic: What to Do to Help

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Addressing the Problem: “My Parent Is an Alcoholic”

No one wants to say aloud, “My parent is an alcoholic.” And this is wholly understandable. Often, our families are reflections of ourselves, and it can be saddening to realize that we have a close family member who is struggling with alcoholism. If you are seriously concerned that your mother or father has a severe drinking problem, the first thing to do is realize that your parent can get help for this problem. The next thing to realize is that it’s not your fault that your mom or dad is struggling with alcohol. Before taking action for this problem or approaching your parent to discuss it, it may help you to learn more about alcoholism and how and why people become addicted.

My Parent Is an Alcoholic: The Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism

Alcohol is a difficult substance to pin down in terms of addiction because it’s not illegal like cocaine, heroin, or meth. In other words, it’s perfectly acceptable to drink alcohol responsibly — and most adults do. Alcohol is also rather ubiquitous. In other words, you see it everywhere: in the store, in restaurants, at parties and dinners, on television and in movies, on commercials and billboards, etc.

But even though some individuals are able to have just one beer or glass of wine with dinner or a maximum of two drinks at a party, others are not. For numerous reasons, some individuals begin to abuse alcohol because they like the way it makes them feel and act.

As your parent’s child, you may be able to see their drinking habits better than others and be concerned. There are several key signs and symptoms to look for specifically that may make you say “my parent is an alcoholic” and is struggling with an alcohol abuse problem:

  • Drinking large amounts of alcohol over long periods of time
  • Hiding alcohol or lying about consumption
  • Becoming sick after drinking too much
  • Severe hangovers after a bout of drinking
  • Drinking that causes marital, family, or relationship problems
  • Drinking and driving
  • Drinking that interferes with their career or schooling
  • Loss of interest in other things
  • Lack of fulfilling responsibilities because of drinking
  • Trying to stop drinking but being unable to

How to Confront an Alcoholic Parent

Knowing how to confront an alcoholic parent can be difficult, but it can be done. Start by asking your parent if you can sit down with them and have a talk about something important. Ask them at a time when they are sober. Once you’re in a position to have a private discussion, start by expressing your love to your parent and offering your support. Move on to expressing your concern about their drinking habits, and make an effort to be compassionate with everything you say. Ask your parent not to speak until you are done expressing your feelings, and then listen closely to what they have to say. If you have a sibling, ask them if they will approach your parent together. You can also ask your other parent to sit down with you for a talk as well.

How to Help an Alcoholic Parent in Denial

If you confront your parent about their alcohol problem, one of two things usually happen. First, your parent may be receptive to your concerns. In fact, it is possible that they’ve been worrying about this problem for themselves as well. Together, you may be able to seek professional treatment and get help for your parent.

On the other hand, it is also rather common for a parent to be taken aback by your confrontation. Having their child express these concerns may make your parent uncomfortable, and these sentiments could lead them to deny that they have an alcohol problem at all.

Naturally, as their child, this can be exceedingly frustrating and saddening. You’re trying to help your parent, but if they don’t want to help themselves, what can you do? How do you know how to help an alcoholic parent in denial? Generally speaking, this is where your parent needs outside professional help.

Contact Better Addiction Care to Get Professional Help

You can help your parent beat alcoholism by providing them with useful information about this disease and connecting them with a reputable rehab center in your area where they can get professional help.

At Better Addiction Care, we can offer you all of this and more. We get many calls from individuals telling us “my parent is an alcoholic,” and we always provide top-tier assistance. Give us a call today at 1 (800) 429-7690 to find out more about alcoholism and what you can do as you parent’s child to get them professional help.