Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances in most states, including Texas. Parents often watch their children for signs of drug or alcohol abuse so that they can get help. What happens when alcoholic parents are the issue? How can children get help for a parent with an alcohol use disorder? Get answers from Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston today at 866.516.8356.
The Risks of Having Alcoholic Parents
When you grow up in a house where alcohol is readily available, it becomes normal to you. Children who watch unhealthy drinking throughout their lives may automatically think that’s what it means to be an adult.
Children of alcoholic parents may suffer from neglect or have emotional problems. Parents may miss important appointments like picking kids up from school. Children that feel neglected can act out and even develop their substance use disorder.
Adult children with a parent who has alcohol addiction may see a decline in their health. They may have to support the parent who can no longer live independently or struggle financially because they can’t keep a job.
Parents may show up at important events drunk like weddings, birthday parties, or holidays. They can have legal problems and turn to their adult children for bail money or to pay fines. A parent with a drinking problem may pass out and put themselves at risk. Maybe they nod off with a pot on the stove or a cigarette in their hand.
Recognizing the Signs of Alcoholic Parents
When children are young, having parents who drink alcohol might seem like a regular thing. As you get older, you start to realize that alcohol addiction may exist in your family. But, not every parent who drinks has alcohol use disorder.
Children need to know the signs of addiction if they want to help. Parents may have a lot of small accidents, for example. Maybe dad always has bruises, or he bumps into things a lot.
They may start to have health problems related to drinking. The doctor may warn them to stop, but they continue to drink anyway.
You may notice a change in their hygiene if they start drinking more than usual. Their clothes may be dirty, and they may not bathe as often. When asked about it, they likely become defensive.
One of the telltale signs of alcoholic parents, though, is their effort to stop drinking. Maybe it’s something you’ve seen them do your whole life. Mom may swear off wine, but after a day, you see her with a glass in her hand.
Getting Help for Alcoholic Parents
It starts with a conversation about alcohol dependence. You cannot force them into treatment or detox. You may not even be able to make them understand that a problem exists. You can try to talk to them about it, though.
When you do, come prepared. Do some research and have information about substance abuse with you and the health risks of drinking. Give them examples of how it affects you and your family. Make it clear that your concern comes from a place of love and give them a chance to talk, too. It should be a two-way conversation.
When you approach treatment, discuss managed detox first. It may be less overwhelming. A managed treatment program can help you through one of the hardest parts of recovery, withdrawal.
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