My son is an Alcoholic, What Can I do? For many parents, the awareness that they have an alcoholic son comes slowly. You may have seen his personality change when he drinks. He may be euphoric while he is drinking, only to have him slide into depression when he is not. Maybe you have seen liquor bottles in your house that were once full become empty or disappear. Your son may not make it home after a night of drinking. You may find that you are routinely calling hospitals or police stations looking for him. The signs are all there. The question is, what do you do when your son is an alcoholic? We have some suggestions for you.
Addressing Alcoholism in a Healthy Way
There are many suggestions you can make to help your son and your family cope with the effects of alcoholism. These suggestions from experts in alcohol addiction will not only help your son but your family as well. As crazy as it sounds, you need to take care of yourself and other members of your family first. You want your family to be strong enough to handle the trauma surrounding your son. This means your family needs to talk, go to meetings and counseling, and insulate itself from the effects of alcoholism.
One of the sad truths about alcoholism in young adults is it not only affects the alcoholic son or daughter. It also affects the entire family. The stress on the family because of alcoholism in a young adult can be severe. It strains the health and relationships of other family members. Many families of alcoholics end up in a strained marriage or go through a divorce.
It is important to deal with your child’s alcoholism. It is also important to try to get him help and support. You can try finding the best AA meetings New Brunswick offers. Alcoholics Anonymous is a good support group for many suffering from alcoholism. In addition, there are other things you need to worry about. For that reason, we have some ideas on helping you address your son’s alcoholism in a productive and healthy way.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stated alcohol addiction is very isolating. It is not only true for the alcoholic son, but for his family as well. Part of the reason the addict is isolating himself is that he is ashamed of his addiction. In addition, he may feel isolated because he doesn’t think anyone understands what he is going through. Your son may also be suffering from stress. When he is sober, he may know that his addiction is affecting everyone around him. As a parent, you want to look for the symptoms of alcoholism.
Not only is your son feeling isolated, but the isolation can stretch to your entire family. This may be because your son’s addiction makes you feel separated from your family and friends. The people around you may not understand what your family is going through. In addition, gatherings that used to mean so much to you have hidden traps. Holiday gatherings, birthday surprises or even a night out become a source of stress and anxiety for a family. You may worry that your son will drink too much and lash out or cause a scene. When you have an alcoholic son living at home, family gatherings can be a challenge. At this point, you may want to consider learning about how to hold an intervention for an alcoholic.
How to Work on Isolation and Anxiety
You should know you are not alone. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry stated 53 percent of families have at least one alcoholic family member. These families are just like yours. You may not have a son who is an alcoholic, but they have been in your shoes. Many were anxious about the future and afraid of their family members. They worried that some night they were going to get a phone call, and they would never see them again. In the past, you probably felt your family was one of the lucky ones that had everything figured out. Now, you don’t know what to do to ease the pain and anxiety you’re feeling because of your alcoholic son.
It is hard for people to understand what your family is going through because of an alcoholic son. Therefore, drug rehab aftercare for families of addicts needs to find support. There are many support groups for families where alcoholism is a problem. Support groups allow families to express their anxieties and fears about having a family member who has an alcohol addiction. You may also learn information about alcoholism as a disease You can talk to other people who may be in a different place than your family. For example, some families in a support group may have a son who is in an alcohol rehabilitation center. Others may have a family member who has been sober for a few months or even a few years. These people will understand what you are going through.
My Son Is an Alcoholic, What Do I Do About Enablers?
First, minimize contact with people who will make your alcoholic son feel worse about himself than he already does. You do not need someone telling your child he or she is a loser and a drunk. In addition, anyone who might abuse your alcoholic son because he is addicted should not be welcome in your home. Many young adults do not know how to deal with peer pressure and drugs.
If you are cutting people out of your lives, you may want to have your son change his phone number. This will mean that, hopefully, his old drinking buddies will have a harder time reaching him. This should help him try and combat his alcoholism. Also, you may want to suggest he unfriend people who may make it easier for him to drink. He may want to take a social media break for an extended period of time as well.
New Places and New Activities
Cut down on your son’s alcohol use by making sure he is not going to places where he could drink. If you’re going somewhere as a family, you want to make sure that the restaurant is family-oriented, not alcohol-oriented. You should also stay away from bars, clubs or taverns. The less your son is around places where alcohol is served, the better.
Also, try to find new activities for your son and your family to enjoy. If your son likes to hike, plan hikes for the whole family. Not only will the rush of endorphins make him feel better, but it’ll also make all of you feel better. Your son can also choose other activities he can do without your family. If he chooses new activities, he can meet new people, and find validation in new activities.
Don’t Be an Enabling Parent
There is a difference between encouraging your child to stop drinking and enabling your child to continue drinking. It’s difficult to understand how to avoid enabling an alcoholic. For example, you don’t want to give your child money in order to prevent them from stealing to get money. If you want to pay for a meal for your alcoholic son because he’s hungry, that’s not enabling, but encouraging.
You want to encourage your son to get help, but you do not want to enable him to drink. While this may sound cruel, do not make excuses. If he steals, acknowledge his theft. If he goes to jail, don’t bail him out. Do not ignore his behavior if it is unacceptable. Instead, tell him that you love him, and you want to help him. Tell him how much his behavior is affecting you and his family members. Allow him to live the consequences of his actions when he is drinking. Hopefully, he will see the pitfalls of alcoholism more quickly.
Hopefully, your son will come to realize that his alcoholism is endangering his life. It is hurting his family and the people in his life that he loves. When that happens, he may want treatment. There are lots of different options for you. You can take some time and explore all the options you have for your alcoholic son’s treatment. Learning how to break the cycle of alcoholism with an intervention would be a good first step. There are many different choices, including inpatient alcohol treatment, outpatient alcohol rehab, and programs specifically designed for young adults.
At SOBA, there are many programs designed to meet the needs of your son who is struggling with alcoholism. There are even programs for your family. All our programs offer many choices for young adults. For example, one of our programs is the College Recovery Addiction Treatment Center. The College Recovery Addiction Treatment Center has programs specifically designed to help young adults in college or of college age struggling with alcohol.
SOBA offers each client the professional and experienced team members he deserves in his treatment program. The team members work to tailor each program to meet the specific needs of your son and your family. We emphasize treatment and therapy for alcoholism, as well as any underlying problems masked by his addiction. Programs that are able to treat the addiction and the underlying causes of addiction are more successful. And, people can maintain their sobriety better. At SOBA’s drug rehab New Jersey center, we can help you give your son a healthier future without alcohol.