Talking to a Parent With a Drinking Problem
If you are concerned about your mom or dad's drinking, start with learning about the signs of alcoholism. If you think that your parent has a problem, approach him or her about it and then consider different treatment options if the person is interested in getting help. How do you get alcoholism.
Read on to learn more about how to help an alcoholic parent, including:
Remember that your mom or dad's alcohol addiction is not your fault. You can try to help the person. But ultimately, the decision to seek treatment is up to them.
Is My Mom or Dad an Alcoholic?
As a child or adolescent, it may be difficult to tell whether your mom or dad is an alcoholic or not. You may be worried that he or she is drinking too much and want to help.
Alcoholism is a disorder in which the person has trouble controlling his or her drinking and continues to drink despite negative consequences, such as health, financial or relationship problems. Drinking a beer or a glass of wine once and a while does not necessarily mean that someone has a problem with alcohol.
Below are some questions to help you evaluate your parent's drinking habits over the past 12 months.
How alcoholism begins
If you answer yes to at least 2 of these questions, then your parent may suffer from an addiction to alcohol.
How to Approach a Parent With a Drinking Problem
In the past, confrontation was considered the best way to approach someone with an addiction. But recent research has shown that this tactic can be counterproductive and may not help the loved one to acknowledge his or her addiction.
If you confront your parent, he or she may become defensive.
An approach called CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) teaches family members how to speak to the person in a non-threatening and non-judgmental manner. CRAFT outlines the communication skills to use when approaching a parent with an alcohol problem.
Below are some CRAFT tips to use when talking to the person.
Tips for Talking to Your Parent
How to Be Supportive
If your parent is interested in entering a recovery program, here are a few things you can do to support him or her:
What to Avoid
Here are some things to avoid when dealing with a parent who has a drinking problem:
Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options
If your parent is ready to begin recovery for an alcohol problem, you can help him or her explore different treatment options.
Alcohol treatment programs use psychotherapy or behavioral therapy and medical maintenance to help your mom or dad become sober and live a happy, healthy life.
A few of the recovery options include:
How alcoholism causes depression
Find an Alcohol Recovery Center
If you would like more information on recovery centers, call 1-888-319-2606 to speak to a treatment specialist about different options.
. American Psychiatric Association. (2013) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association.