Dealing with an Alcoholic Parent

Dealing with an Alcoholic Parent

     This week’s blog has been reposted from

 Alcoholic parents suck. They don’t wake up on time. They sometimes don’t dress or wash or cook for themselves or their families. But, the worst thing about an alcoholic parent is  they are sad or angry almost all of the time.

What is alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease. It starts out when your mom or dad drinks alcohol. Soon, she or he starts drinking more and more and cannot stop. This is because something is happening in their brains that makes them want to drink and to their bodies which makes it really hard to stop.

How do you know if your mom or dad is an alcoholic?

Some people might drink a lot but can control their drinking. Or some people will drink a lot on holidays or at weddings, or only on the weekends. So how do you know if your parent is an alcoholic or is beginning to have a problem with alcohol? Here are the 4 signs of alcoholism.

  • Alcoholics need to drink more and more alcohol after time to feel the same as when they started.
  • Alcoholics start to sweat, have an upset stomach, get shaky, anxious or sick if they  do not have a drink or try to stop drinking.
  • Alcoholics constantly think about (which is called having an obsession) with alcohol and have strong cravings to drink.
  • Once an alcoholic drinks one drink, they cannot stop, and continue to drink more.

What can you do if you have an alcoholic parent?

First, you have to know that you are not alone. According to a recent Nick News program on alcoholism, 11 million kids under the age of 18 live with one or more parent that is an alcoholic. That means that one of every 4 kids has an alcoholic in the family. It’s so common that there is nothing to be ashamed of…and IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT!

So what can you do?

1. Know that it’s not your fault
2. Know you can’t fix it
3. Find the strength inside yourself to go on, in a different way

The hardest part of living with an alcoholic is you have to grow up fast. It’s like you’re the adult and your parent is the kid. But that’s what you have to do. You have to learn to know what you can and cannot control and then only change the things that you can control. It sucks. It really does. Often people in the AlaTeen * rooms call it ‘walking on eggshells’. But you cannot change your parents and you need to take care of yourself. Here are some other ideas for things to try out:

  • Don’t be afraid or to proud to talk to someone at school, church, in your family, or a friend about how you feel, you will realize you are not alone
  • Tell someone you trust what is happening and ask for advice
  • Plan an intervention and ask your mom or dad to go to a treatment center to help them break the obsession with alcohol (a rehab)
  • Go to Al Anon *, NOCA (National Association of Children of Alcoholics)  or ACOA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) if you are under 18 go to AlaTeen ( a section of Al Anon) meetings
  • Read about alcoholism and how other people deal with people in their family that are alcoholics
  • Join online groups that are featured on the web site: and chat about life and share your thoughts on:

o    Is your mom or dad an alcoholic?

o    What do you do to take care of them?

o    What questions do you have?

o    What do you do to feel good about yourself?

o    How are you dealing with your life?

Additional Information: 

*Free informational materials can be obtained by calling AlaNon/AlaTeen at (757) 563–1600, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.–6 p.m.


 Reposted from


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