Are you worried that someone you love drinks too much? You are right to be concerned— about their safety and health, about what will happen to you, about their embarrassing you or criticizing you unfairly, about breaking promises, about driving under the influence, and about lots of other things that create unpredictability and confusion. While you cannot stop your loved one from drinking, you can take steps to make things better for yourself.
Remember: You are not alone. Many people are in your situation and it’s important to address it.
Addiction to alcohol is a disease. When one member of the family has this disease, all family members are affected.
It’s not your fault; it’s a disease.
You didn’t cause it, and you can’t make it stop.
You need and deserve help for yourself.
People with alcohol- or drug addicted parents are four times more likely to become addicted if they choose to drink alcohol or use illegal drugs.
Remember: You can’t get addicted if you don’t drink or use drugs.
Take Care of Yourself…
Talk with another person — maybe a doctor, counselor or nurse, friend, relative, or neighbor—who will listen and help you deal with problems.
Join a support group—they’re great places to meet other people who are struggling with the same problems that you face. To find a local support group, talk to your doctor, counselor or social worker.
It is important to find caring people who can help you.
Talking to them really helps.
Get involved in activities in the community where you can be with other people, use your special talents and strengths and learn new skills while you are having fun.
Remember: Even if the person with the disease doesn’t get help, you can still get the help you need to feel better and to have a safe and productive life.
Remember the Seven Cs
I didn’t Cause it
I can’t Cure it
I can’t Control it
I can take better Care of myself
By Communicating my feelings,
Making healthy Choices,
And Celebrating myself.
Al-anon is a group for people who are affected by someone else’s alcohol use. It holds meetings, where young share tips on how to make their lives easier when a family member drinks too much. You can find the location of meetings near you by looking in the phone book under Al-Anon, or you can ask your counselor, a clergy member, your doctor, or another person you trust to help you find meetings near you. Another way to find out about Al-anon is by logging onto their Web site at http://www.alanon.alateen.org
Adapted from, National Association of Children of Alcoholics – USA
See also; The Dynamics of an Alcoholic Family