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How to Help My Alcoholic Son

alcoholic son struggling with addiction

Many parents can find it quite challenging for their alcoholic son. Alcoholism is a disease that does not discriminate based on gender, age, financial situation, social status, or even where you live. It is hard enough for parents to admit their young adult son has a drinking problem, let alone an alcohol addiction

Parents’ love for their son can be so overpowering that they will overlook behaviors and patterns of abuse that often indicate their son is struggling with addiction. Rather than face the problem, they tend to downplay its seriousness because they do not want to admit their son is an alcoholic.

Some parents even view their son’s drinking as a time in his life for self-discovery and experimentation. They treat it as a phase he will grow out once he gets past his college-aged years. However, the very nature of addiction can become overwhelming for young men to the extent their parents become drawn into the addiction.

Why Is It Hard For Parents To Admit They Have An Alcoholic Son?  

Parents often wonder what they did wrong while experiencing feelings of shame and guilt. Additionally, they can feel hopeless, like there is nothing they can do as they watch their son spiral out of control and fall deeper into alcohol addiction. 

Try as they might, getting their son to admit they have a drinking problem is not as easy as they think it will be. Addiction is a powerful disease, and when it affects young men, they can become very stubborn and even refuse to acknowledge they have a drinking problem. So while most parents will want to intervene since it seems the most logical, it is not the first thing they need to do.

Steps To Helping Your Alcoholic Son

Since most people struggling with addiction need to seek professional help, it’s important for parents to understand the factors that may have led to their son’s addiction. Mental health disorders, a family history of addiction, and peer influence are just some of the reasons young men may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope. Once parents understand the scope of their child’s addiction — including the underlying causes — they are better prepared to take the appropriate steps to get their son the help he needs.

Step 1: Educate Yourself About Alcoholism.

Before you can help your son, you need to learn about his disease. You are not the only parent in the entire world with a son who is struggling with addiction. There are support groups for parents of alcoholic sons that can be a wealth of information. Not to mention, you can learn more about what other parents are doing to help their sons.

Step 2: Put Yourself and Your Needs First

To be in a position mentally and physically to help your son, you need to take care of yourself and your needs above his. This means eating healthy, exercising, getting plenty of rest, and maintaining your daily routines.  

Step 3: Take A Step Back and Detach Yourself From Your Son’s Alcoholism

It is imperative that you step back and detach yourself from your son’s addiction. Understandably, this can be pretty hard because no parent wants to see their son suffer. However, taking this approach forces your son to face the consequences of his alcohol abuse. 

For instance, your son staggers home late at night and passes out on the front porch. Instead of bringing him inside, leave him there. You can cover him in a blanket, but that is all you should do. This demonstrates you still love and care for your son, but you will not help him avoid the consequences of passing out on the front porch. 

Step 4: Establish Clear Boundaries To Prevent Enabling Your Son’s Drinking  

Creating boundaries not only helps you remain detached from your son’s alcoholism but also helps prevent you from enabling his alcohol abuse. Enabling behaviors are those behaviors where you attempt to cover up, hide, or support your son’s drinking problem in any manner.

For example, do not give him money to go out with his friends to drink. Other things you can do could include:

  • Get rid of all alcohol in the home.
  • Avoid drinking in front of your son.
  • Do not make excuses when he is drunk in front of friends and family.
  • Do not call his work and tell him he is sick when he is hungover and can’t work.
  • Do not let him borrow your vehicle when he wants to go out drinking with friends.
  • Do not leave him home alone with access to money or alcohol. 
  • Do not reward him with alcohol for abstaining from drinking as a means for him to celebrate. 
  • Do not bail him out of jail if he is arrested for a DUI. 

Even though these things might seem harsh, they put your son in a position where he must face his alcohol addiction and the consequences of it. 

Step 5: Stage An Intervention With An Interventionist.

After implementing the previous steps, now is the time to deal with your son’s addiction with assistance from an interventionist. An interventionist is a professional with experience in substance abuse problems who acts as a moderator to let your son know their alcoholism is affecting the entire family. 

The goal of an intervention is to increase awareness about your son’s addiction and put him in a place where he can start to contemplate getting the help he needs.

Treatment For Your Alcoholic Son In Dallas, TX

At Casa Colina in Dallas, we help parents who want to learn the right way to help their alcoholic sons. We provide access to resources, support group referrals, and family counseling. In addition, we can help stage an intervention. 

When your son is ready to admit he is an alcoholic and wants help, we offer customized residential treatment programs at our treatment center. Our goal is to help your son on the path to sobriety in a caring and supportive environment that focuses on rehab programs for men. 

To learn more about alcoholism and our addiction treatment programs for your son, please feel free to call us at (214) 934-4873 today! 

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