Under a new definiton of "alcoholic" up to 40% of college students would be labeled as such.  (Photo Illustration by Alex McDougall/Oregon Daily Emerald)

Dealing With Your Parent’s Alcoholism

Alcoholism is a significant issue in our society today, it’s one of the main reasons why families break up. Unsolved psychological and physiological problems can lead to alcoholism. Anyone can be obsessed with alcohol and they may not be able to control their consumption, even when their drinking has led them to serious relationship, health and financial problems.

This problem has spread to various parts of the world, and many families are affected by alcohol abuse. Alcoholism goes beyond just getting drunk – it can lead to other problems like domestic abuse, emotional abuse, and financial woes. One of the most challenging problems in a family is dealing with an alcoholic parent. It’s never easy, but there are several ways to cope up with this dilemma.

First, you should understand the causes of alcoholism. Many people who become alcoholics are experiencing depression. When someone is depressed, he or she is more likely to drink alcoholic beverages. We need to understand that depression can elevate their drinking habit into addiction – that’s why we see a lot of people losing control and become intoxicated by alcohol.

The overall responsibility of the family is to help the alcoholic control his or her drinking habits. Sometimes alcoholics choose to drink not because they have a problem, but it’s the addiction that pushes them to get drunk. Usually, people who drinks eases their burden by pushing their responsibility to the family to someone else. They become a liability and they lose all sense of modesty, and sometimes they even leave their homes only to become homeless.

Talk To Your Parent When They Are Sober

If you really want to solve the problem, you need to find some time to talk to your parent, especially when he or she is calm and sober. Express your feelings to your parent and discuss how their alcoholism is affecting your family. Explain to them the problems and how they can help you solve it. You may not be able to convince them to stop drinking completely, but you can encourage them to more responsible and lessen the amount of intoxicating drinks they take each day. Make them understand the realities of alcoholism and its impact on your family.

You should be clear on the things that you want to happen in your home. Most importantly, you won’t tolerate their negative behavior when they are drunk. It’s not telling a parent what to do, but you are just ensuring your own safety and the well-being of the other family members. Also, make it clear that if they keep getting drunk, you will be forced to take action like leaving your home to stay with someone else or get help from government agencies.


Knowing The Root Cause Of Your Parent’s Depression

Encourage your parent to divulge the reasons for their depression, and why they resort to alcoholism. Although you should show compassion when asking them to share their bad experiences. You can also make a suggestion that they seek out the help of a psychologist or therapist who can help them cope with their depression. When your parent refuses your suggestions and ideas, you can let it go for the time being but you need to remind them that it’s a necessary step that they need to take.

Tell them that they must take a gradual approach to reduce their reliance on alcohol. It doesn’t mean that they stop drinking right away, but you can tell them to decrease the amount they take each day. In these types of encounters, the most common response an alcoholic will show is the lack of enthusiasm and they may even ignore you entirely. You should be patient and considerate, especially when the alcoholic is your own parent.

Never Argue With A Drunk Parent

Always remember that a heated argument with a drunk parent is something you should never do, because it’s a situation that you will rarely win. It can even aggravate their addiction, and there is a risk of you getting physically hurt. Also, your parent may not even remember your argument because they are heavily intoxicated at the time of your argument.

No matter how mad you are with your parent, never sound accusing or nagging. It’s your parent after all, you should always respect them, no matter what the situation is. Instead of nagging them, you can make it sound like it’s a request from their concerned and loving child.


Stay Consistent

When you tell your alcoholic parent that you will do certain things if they cannot change their drinking habits, stick to it. You need them to understand that you are serious and there are consequences for their actions. This will make them think twice before they drink another alcoholic beverage.

You should also show that you are adamant with your request that they should change their ways. If they’ve already gotten into the pattern of drinking, they will realize that it’s time to put their past behind and find the strength to be sober again.