Whether you currently live with an alcoholic parent or grew up with one, the effects of alcoholism undoubtedly have left a profound impact on you. Knowing how to deal with an alcoholic parent can allow some of the burden to be lifted and hopefully offer guidance in helping them help themselves.
Households where one or both parent drinks to excess are often defined by an unpredictable nature in which there is a prevalence of emotional damage. While you may not be able to transform a parent overnight, here are a few tips on how to deal with an alcoholic parent.
Educate Yourself on Alcoholism
First and foremost, education is key. Alcoholism is a disease. Like any other disease, it needs to be treated. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that adult children of alcoholics will outgrow the effects of growing up with an alcoholic parent. Understanding how alcoholism evolves, what causes it, and the best options for treatment better prepare you when approaching a parent dealing with alcoholism.
In addition, understanding characteristics of the disease relinquish feelings of guilt and possibly prevent yourself from taking the same road. You have done nothing wrong. You did not cause the disease.
As with any other chemical dependency, denial is an immense obstacle to overcome. Because of this, interventions are sometimes necessary in order to confront a parent about their problem. Interventions should be thoroughly planned before being executed and are often the most successful when organized and guided by an intervention specialist.
When we love people, we want to protect them, but oftentimes in cases of alcohol use disorder, enabling is disguised as protection. We don’t want to say the thing that is going to make them spiral deeper but being silent doesn’t help either. The best thing to do in this case is to try to be as honest as possible, not just with your parent, but with yourself as well. Is what you are doing hurting or helping?
Attending meetings such as Adult Children of Alcoholics Anonymous is a great way to connect with other people who can share in your experience. Children of alcoholics commonly grow up feeling different from everyone else, and their past can cause feelings of shame. Joining a support group allows you the opportunity to learn and grow with others who come from a similar background.
Understand You are Not Alone
According to a study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2012, more than 10 percent of U.S. children lived with a parent suffering from alcohol problems. In homes where one or both parents are dependent on alcohol, key skills, such as learning how to trust and form healthy, emotional bonds, are never learned. Instead, children often develop feelings of shame, loneliness, and self-criticism that can drag behind them for a lifetime.
Find a Treatment Program
In addition to offering treatment for alcohol addiction, First Step Center of Arizona provides individualized care for each client at its inpatient residential treatment center. With only 10 beds, our all-male clientele benefit from receiving a personalized program tailored to meet specified needs.
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Growing up with an alcoholic parent can leave life-long wounds, but you need not remain burdened. First Step Center understands the heartache and complexities of addiction and believes in offering comprehensive treatment for you or a loved one. Today is the best day to get well. To find out more about how to deal with an alcoholic parent, call us now at 866.832.6398.