A child changes a parent’s entire world. You become responsible for raising, providing, and helping them make positive life choices. Once a child grows into a teenager and then adult, the role of the parent changes. They are able to make choices that are outside of your control and face consequences that you can no longer protect them from. If your child has developed an alcohol abuse problem, it may feel like your whole world has been ripped out from underneath you. Understanding how to help an alcoholic child is vital in order to help both your child and yourself during this hard journey.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by the inability to control one’s consumption of alcohol. In the U.S. it is estimated that 1 out of every 8 adults has an alcohol problem. Alcohol is the most abused drug in the U.S. due to how socially acceptable drinking is. Alcoholism can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe.
The diagnosis categories have different symptoms and consequences. Nonetheless, alcoholism requires addiction treatment from medical professionals no matter what category. If alcoholism is not treated properly, then it can easily spiral an individual’s life out of control. At that point, your child can develop a severe alcohol use disorder.
Alcoholism is extremely dangerous due to the physical dependance that develops. Once dependency has occurred, stopping drinking can be deadly. If your child is physically dependent on alcohol, then they must be treated by an alcohol detox. Alcoholism is very dangerous since people can feel as though they cannot function without drinking.
Thankfully, the warning signs of alcohol abuse can be noticeable in your child. Understanding the signs and symptoms of alcoholism are a part of knowing how to help an alcoholic child.
Signs and symptoms of alcoholism include:
- Losing control of the ability to control alcohol consumption
- Craving alcohol when it is not present or when there is no reason to be drinking
- Putting alcohol consumption above personal responsibilities
- Feeling as though one must keep drinking
- Binge drinking or drinking to the point of blacking out
- Spending abnormally large amounts of money on alcohol
- Behaving differently after drinking
Knowing How to Help an Alcoholic Child
It can be difficult to understand how to help an alcoholic child, especially when it is your own child. For a parent, it is extremely hard to witness their child struggle with substance abuse disorder. It can be even harder to know how to help an alcoholic child. Thankfully, here at The Healing Center we are able to guide you on how to help an alcoholic child that will be beneficial to their health and yours.
If you want to have a conversation with your child about their alcohol abuse, then speak with them when they are in a good mood and seem open to the conversation. Making sure your tone is both compassionate and loving is another important factor. This will help your child feel less defensive.
Furthermore, it is vital to be patient with your child. Your child may not want to get help right away or they may not be open to speaking about their drinking. That is okay and you can always revisit the conversation.Having patience can potentially lead them to making their own independent decision about going to treatment.
How to Support an Alcoholic Child
The biggest thing you can do to support an alcoholic child is by being present for them. It can be extremely difficult to remain supportive when alcoholics refuse to get treatment, but your child will need you during this time. If you decide to completely abandon your child they may spiral completely and end up drinking more. Remaining present, with healthy boundaries, can help your child immensely.
Encourage your child to get the services they need for treatment of alcoholism. It is okay if they do not immediately want help. Their choice to refuse help has nothing to do with you or your relationship with them. If your child expresses a desire to get help, then you can help them find an appropriate treatment center.
Having a child who is an alcoholic is not easy by any means, but there are ways in order to be supportive. If you need additional help in this area, then family therapy or individual therapy is a great resource. There are also free support groups, such as ALANON, that can help you cope with the struggle of having a loved one who suffers from addiction. It is important to understand that you are not alone, and that there are resources that can teach you how to help an alcoholic child.
How to Help an Alcoholic Child
If you are sure that your child is showing signs of alcoholism, then it is time to help them get into an alcohol rehab treatment center. No matter what level of alcoholism they have gotten to, The Healing Center in Fort Lauderdale can help them. We offer an alcohol rehab program that provides individualized and compassionate treatment. We maintain a relatively low census in order to provide our clients with personalized treatment. If you want to learn more about how to help an alcoholic child, then our team can help you. Call us today in order to help your child achieve a life of sobriety that is free from the chains of addiction. Our admissions team is waiting to help you.