How to Talk to a Parent About Their Drinking Problem

How to Talk to a Parent About Their Drinking Problem

Parents often turn to the Internet when they are worried about their teens having a drinking problem. However, sometimes it’s teens that worry about their parents needing alcohol rehab.

It is possible for adults to binge drink and have drinking problems. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 15.1 million adults ages 18 and older had alcohol use disorder in 2015, compared to 623,000 adolescents 12-17 years old. Also, the same study found that 26.9 percent of adults 18 and older reported binge drinking in the past month.  

Signs that a Parent Has a Drinking Problem

Alcohol abuse and addiction affect people differently. Some parents function through work and extracurricular activities, while others act in ways that are embarrassing. Some children remember their parent using alcohol from the time they were small, while others don’t remember it until they are older. In some families, it’s not until a stressful event occurs that a parent starts abusing alcohol.

Even though alcohol abuse can impact people differently, there are some common signs that people share when coming to drug treatment in Phoenix.

  • Drinking alone or in secrecy
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Prioritizing drinking over other responsibilities
  • Blackouts and memory loss
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Trouble with work or finances
  • Changes in behavior or appearance

Ways to Talk to a Parent About Their Drinking Problem

It’s never easy to approach someone about their drinking, particularly a parent. It’s important to know that you can’t force someone to change, and it is possible that your parent will deny needing  addiction treatment. Still, you are doing the right thing by bringing this to your parent’s attention. Let them know that you are aware of their drinking – and so are others. This, in itself, can be enough to solicit change.

Here are a few tips to consider when speaking to your parent. If you are concerned that your parent will become angry or violent, have someone with you.

  • Have the conversation when you and your parent are sober
  • Let your parent know that you are concerned – the goal is not to convince them that they have a problem
  • Use “I” statements instead of generalizations
  • List specific incidents that let your parent know why you are concerned
  • Let your parent have time to talk so they don’t feel attacked
  • Ask open-ended questions to engage in constructive dialogue
  • Stay on the main point – avoid judgements and speculations
  • If the conversation is unsuccessful, approach it at a different time

Are you concerned about a parent’s drinking problem? It can help to stage an intervention. To learn more about Continuum Recovery Center’s alcohol treatment program or how we can help, please call us today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *