When you discover that your parents or guardians might have a problem with alcohol, it can feel like you’re all alone. After all, aren’t they supposed to be the ones with everything in control? Aren’t they the ones who are supposed to have all the answers? Haven’t they always taken charge?
The truth is that alcohol abuse does not discriminate. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a disease, and it can impede even the strongest people’s lives. It is important to remember that they are sick people, not bad people, and as sick people, they need some help to get well.
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we have the tools and resources to help anyone struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction. Parents are not unique when it comes to alcohol addiction. What is unique is the family dynamic surrounding it. It can feel scary when a child feels like they must take the role of caretaker with a struggling parent. We are here to mitigate those fears and help your entire family get the help they need.
Parents Struggling With Alcohol Use Disorder Need Help
There is a saying that is often used in many 12-Step programs. It goes, “We’ll love you until you learn to love yourselves.” Often that is what AUD can remove from a family: love. When a parent is in the throes of active addiction, it may seem like they only care about that next drink. The truth is that they are lost, and “that next drink” feels like their only solution. Their love is not gone; it’s just been overrun by their addiction.
We also understand that it can feel frustrating for a child of parents struggling with AUD to understand their own emotions. These children often feel like they have been robbed of a healthy home life or childhood. As a result, they may struggle with their own feelings toward their parents.
It can be devastating when a child feels like they’ve lost their love for their parent. The truth is that love is just being held hostage by the “family disease” of alcohol addiction. However, with the proper approach, care, and treatment that love can re-emerge in time. It can even be strengthened.
Understanding Alcohol Use Disorder as a Family Disease
Living in a household where both parents abuse alcohol regularly can take its toll on the functioning of the entire family unit. Kids are significantly affected if their parent’s alcohol use interferes with their lives. Simply put, addiction is a family disease and often requires professional counseling to help educate the family on navigating and overcoming the challenges of this situation.
According to the journal Social Work In Public Health, “Each family and each family member is uniquely affected by the individual using substances including but not limited to having unmet developmental needs, impaired attachment, economic hardship, legal problems, emotional distress, and sometimes violence being perpetrated against him or her. For children, there is also an increased risk of developing [substance use disorder] SUD themselves.”
Because of this, it can be crucial to get help right away if you feel your parents are struggling with alcohol abuse or addiction. The truth is that these problems can get even worse. However, more importantly, many of them can also be resolved and reversed.
You Did Not Cause This, but You Can Help
Know that your parents’ alcohol addiction is not your fault. No one, not even a child, can make someone pick up or put down a drink, not even when they are your parents. Ultimately that decision must come down to the individual. However, there are effective ways to help your parents with their problems with alcohol.
One of the first steps toward helping your parents with their alcohol addiction is identifying it. Here are some of the common signs to look out for if you feel a parent is drinking too much:
- Behavior changes
- Increased irritability, agitation, and paranoia
- Decreased involvement and motivation
- Fatigue or difficulty waking up
If you notice any of these warning signs, it may be time to seek professional help. Roots Through Recovery is here to help you and your parents navigate these difficult times.
Roots Through Recovery Is Here for Your Parents and You
One of the best ways to get your parents the help they need is through a moderator or an intervention. Roots Through Recovery can help facilitate this. Please feel free to contact us for more information on beginning this process. This may be the first step toward acceptance that your parent needs to get the help they need.
Here at Roots Through Recovery, we have the tools necessary to help your parents recover from alcohol addiction. We have clinicians and professionals that can help your parent or guardian put down the drink and begin working on the underlying issues of alcohol abuse or addiction.
It’s easy to forget that parents are people too, and sometimes those people need help. You can get through this. Roots Through Recovery can help.
If you feel that your parents or a loved one are drinking too much, it is essential to remember that there is hope and help out there for them. Here at Roots Through Recovery, we offer an extensive program of various therapies that can be used to treat not just your parents but the entire family. While you cannot choose for your parents to get help, we can be there when they are ready. When your parents struggle with addiction, it can make you feel completely alone. You don’t have to feel that way anymore. To learn more about our program and how we can help you and your family, call Roots Through Recovery at (562) 473-0827.