How Can I Help My Child With Alcoholism When I Am Also an Alcoholic?

Helping your child overcome their alcoholism can quickly become extraordinarily difficult and overwhelming, especially if you struggle with alcohol abuse yourself. Unfortunately, children of parents who are alcoholics are much more likely to develop unhealthy and life-threatening habits when using alcohol regularly. Knowing how to help your child with alcoholism while you are struggling as an alcoholic yourself is essential when you want to provide the very best support, care, and treatment for them.

Reassess Your Lifestyle and Drinking Habits

Facing your own addiction to alcohol is the first step to take before you are truly capable of providing the help and support your child needs. Reassess your lifestyle and drinking habits while considering what is driving you to drink alcohol more than the average individual. If you are unsure of the root cause of your alcohol addiction, consider visiting a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction and the recovery process.

Learn About Addiction

Learning about addiction and alcoholism is essential when you are facing an addiction on your own and want to help your child simultaneously. Understanding the most common physical and psychological signs and symptoms that typically manifest with alcoholism helps to better assess your needs and the needs of your child.

The most prevalent psychological signs that are associated with alcoholism include:

  • The urge to consume alcohol often preoccupies other thoughts of daily responsibilities and activities
  • Feelings of irritability and agitation when alcohol has run out or when you do not have access to alcohol
  • Wanting to drink alcohol in order to escape problems and the stresses of everyday life
  • Feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety after a day of drinking
  • Social isolation due to increased alcohol intake or the inability to maintain composure in social environments

Additionally, monitor physical symptoms that are likely to manifest if you or your child have severe addictions to alcohol such as:

  • Trembling and shakiness in the hands and extremities
  • Increased nausea and vomiting (along with blood in vomit or stools)
  • An unusual number of headaches (especially when you do not have access to alcohol)
  • Unexplained bruising, cuts, and sores from loss of coordination due to alcohol consumption
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurring of words even when you feel sober and alert (especially as alcoholism progresses)
  • Blacking out from consuming too much alcohol by binging

Offer Mental and Emotional Support

When you know your child is struggling with alcoholism, it is essential to offer both mental and emotional support. Avoid shaming your child when they are having a difficult time kicking the habit of drinking alcohol altogether. Talk to your child about how it is important to express feelings and emotions regarding alcohol and how it is impacting their everyday life.

If your child is unwilling to speak or work with you due to your own struggles with alcohol, it is imperative to share your thoughts on working towards sobriety together. Encourage your child to stop drinking by joining them in their journey to sobriety.

Open up and communicate honestly with your child about their alcohol addiction and share your own personal struggles and challenges that have impacted you the most. Free yourself from guilt, shame, and denial to show your child that it is possible to admit an addiction while still looking for a way out to live a healthier and more fulfilling life again. When you are honest with your child, it is much easier for them to admit their own struggles with alcohol, allowing them to remain open-minded when searching for treatment centers and detox programs.

Host an Intervention

Before hosting an intervention for your child it is highly advisable to consider opting into the intervention yourself, especially when you struggle with alcoholism. If you host an intervention for your child but refuse to take responsibility for your own actions and lifestyle, they are much less likely to listen and cooperate, even if your family and friends are present for the gathering. Joining your child in an intervention provides a sense of solidarity and support which is necessary to face and overcome an addiction as serious as alcoholism.

Why Medically-Supervised Detoxing is Important

A medically-supervised detoxing program ensures the health and wellness of you and your child while you overcoming physical withdrawal symptoms. When you enroll in a recovery program that does not offer medically-supervised detoxing, you run the risk of experiencing a seizure, stroke, or even heart failure, especially if you have a serious physical addiction to alcohol.

Research Detox Centers and Rehabilitation Centers

Research detox centers and rehabilitation centers or programs that are beneficial for both adults and young adults or teens (depending on your child’s age). Detox centers provide medically-supervised detoxing programs which ensure the health and safety of individuals who have a severe addiction and dependence on alcohol.

When you begin researching detox centers and rehab facilities, it is important to seek out locations that provide mental health treatment throughout the recovery process. Search for a detox center and rehabilitation facility that offers individual therapy and counseling, group meetings (including AA), and even programs for hobbies and activities. Youth rehabilitation centers often focus on rebuilding a healthier lifestyle by integrating hobbies, art, exercise, a healthy diet, and a proper sleep schedule. With the right rehabilitation center, both you and your child can begin living a lifestyle that is healthy, productive, and rewarding.

With the right tools and resources, ensure your child has the best chance of beating their addiction with alcohol. When you are able to begin a healthy dialogue with your child regarding their alcohol use while also making positive changes in your own life, move forward with a plan of action that is beneficial for both of your futures.

Our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call 877-978-3148 for more information regarding a program that is right for you and your child.