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Handle Alcoholic Parents

By Staff

Many children grew up with a parent who is an alcoholic, a person physically and emotionally addicted to alcohol. Alcoholism has been around for centuries, yet no one has discovered how to prevent or stop it. Acknowledging the problem and reaching out for support can help you help your family - and ensure that your future does not repeat your parent's past.

An alcoholic parent is never the child's fault. Many children of alcoholics try to hide the problem or find themselves telling lies to cover up for a parent's drinking. Admitting that your parent has a problem is the first step in taking control. Being aware of how your parent's drinking affects, you can help put things in perspective. For example, some young people who live with alcoholic parents become afraid to speak out or show any normal anger or emotion because they worry it may trigger a parent's drinking binge.

Likewise, realizing that you are not the cause of a parent's drinking problem can help you feel better about yourself.

It's good to share your feelings with a friend, but it's equally important to talk to one of the member of your family, your doctor, or a therapist. The folks at your college health center can also help. Since, alcoholism is such a widespread problem, several organizations offer confidential support groups and meetings for people living with alcoholics. You're not betraying your parent by seeking help. It is not disloyal to seek help in dealing with the problems that your parent's drinking create for you.

Although you're still your parent's 'kid', and he or she probably still sees you that way, you can call your campus health center or talk to your doctor, who can help you find a therapist or alcoholism counselor. A therapist or counselor can give you advice about how to help your family be safe and healthy. This might include having an intervention to help your parent face the alcoholism, finding a support group or alcohol rehabilitation facility for your parent, or even helping family members get out of the house. You're not alone - there are people out there who will help you to help your family.

Alcoholism is a disease and not a behavior, chances are that you won't be able to change your parent's actions alone. But you can show your love and support - and, above all, take care of yourself.

Story first published: Monday, October 22, 2007, 17:29 [IST]
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