However, for someone with an alcohol dependence, that expectation may turn out to be unreasonable. If the person is incapable of even being honest with themselves, it may not be reasonable to expect them to be honest with you. You do not have to put up with unacceptable behavior in your life. Keep in mind that someone with alcohol dependence usually goes through a few stages before they are ready to make a change. Until they begin to contemplate quitting, any actions you take to “help” them quit will often be met with resistance. You don’t have to create a crisis, but learning detachment will help you allow a crisis—one that may be the only way to create change—to happen.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

The participants struggled with feelings of abandonment, sadness and anger for lack of love and care, and anxiety and distress in dealing with the “two faces” of the alcoholic parent. Neglect and violence were most salient, and are described further below. Children with alcoholic parents often have to take care of their parents and siblings. As an adult, you still spend a lot of time and energy taking care of other people and their problems (sometimes trying to rescue or “fix” them). As a result, you neglect your own needs,get into dysfunctional relationships, and allow others to take advantage of your kindness.

Characteristics and Behaviors of Adult Children of Alcoholics

how to deal with alcoholic parent

It can also provide a safe space for family members to express their feelings and concerns. In the end, the most effective way to assist your adult child with their addiction is to ensure you’re taking care of your own health and well-being. These attempts might just push them away or enable their habits, hurting you in the process. Strong social support can make a big difference in whether they seek help for their addiction.

Ways growing up with an alcoholic parent can affect you as an adult:

Then, free from judgment—and with a willingness to listen—address your concerns about your dad’s alcohol use calmly. Remember that alcohol use disorder is a disease, not a lack of willpower. Couples therapy can also have benefit, according to White, if you believe behaviors rooted in your childhood experiences have started to affect your romantic relationship. Ria Health can be a helpful option to consider, as we’ve combined many of these treatment options into one program. Our evidence-based treatment approach gives members access to medications, online coaching, digital tools to track their progress, and more.

how to deal with alcoholic parent

Sometimes people need therapy to build good habits they were not able to learn living with an alcoholic or addicted parent. Parents navigating the challenges of an adult child’s addiction often grapple with how to offer support without enabling harmful behaviors or creating distance. However, it’s equally crucial for parents to prioritize their own well-being.

how to deal with alcoholic parent

Over time, trust can be rebuilt through these positive interactions. Therapy can be incredibly beneficial for families dealing with addiction. Family therapy sessions can Sober House help each family member understand the nature of addiction, improve communication within the family, and provide strategies to cope with the challenges of addiction.

How to Deal with Elderly Alcoholic Parents As an Adult

Your parents don’t need to have a diagnosis of AUD for you to be concerned with their drinking. Still, knowing more about AUD and the biology of addiction can help you better understand why it might be challenging for your mother or father to stop drinking. Whether your parent has been an alcoholic for much of their lives or the alcoholism has recently begun, it’s difficult to be the child of an elderly alcoholic. While you cannot make them seek help or treatment, there are things you can do to better deal with their alcoholism. Don’t be afraid to talk to your parents about their drinking problem.

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