They've raised you and taken care of you your whole life. What do you do when it's time to help a parent struggling with alcohol addiction?
There are estimated to be over 17 million alcoholics in the United States, and alcohol use among seniors is a growing trend.
The children of alcoholics, regardless of age, may feel helpless when confronting the reality that the person who should be the most responsible adult in the room is in the position of needing help themselves. It’s not easy having to deal with anything from mom and dad’s embarrassing behavior or hurtful words to neglect or even physical abuse.
The first step in helping a parent who drinks too much is to set up a time when the two of you can have a sober one-on-one talk about your concerns.
During the conversation, make them aware you love them but think they have a problem. Remember, you don’t have to force anyone to change or even accept the reality of the situation as you see it.
Give your parent examples of when their drinking has troubled you, and consider letting them know exactly how specific incidents hurt or negatively affected you. Always make it clear you are sharing your worries with them because you care.
It’s important not to make your mom or dad feel cornered and defensive during the conversation. Ask open-ended questions that allow them to share their thoughts and feelings, if they want. Even when a parent is in denial and won’t admit their drinking might be out of control, try to get them to at least agree to be open to a future discussion about the issue, or potentially entering detox to change things.
The staff at Private Solution Detox in Rancho Mirage can help you navigate the process of getting a parent into alcohol detox. Counselors can also provide guidance on helpful resources and programs available for the children of alcoholics.
Our facility is a comfortable, confidential facility in the heart of Rancho Mirage, across the street from the world-renowned Eisenhower Medical Center.