A Compassionate Guide to Helping Your Alcoholic Son

A Compassionate Guide to Helping Your Alcoholic Son

Is my son an alcoholic?

You may have noticed your child drinking more and more. You may also have noticed a change in their behavior or personality. Yet, you still wonder if your son is an alcoholic.

Alcoholism is different than heavy drinking. According to Medline Plus, alcoholism is when drinking causes distress or harm. Simply put, an alcohol problem may be present if the person’s drinking is disruptive to their daily life.

Drinking may negatively affect someone’s work, behavior with their spouse or children, or mental or physical health. For example, the alcohol abuser may always be late to work or have accidents at work, verbally or physically abuse their family, or develop health problems from their heavy drinking.

Alcoholism is also known as alcohol use disorder, alcohol addiction, or alcohol dependence.

Signs of alcoholism

Even further, if you notice these changes in your child as described by the Mayo Clinic, it’s time for alcohol treatment:

  • Being unable to limit the amount of alcohol he drinks
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut back on the amount of alcohol he drinks
  • Spending a lot of time drinking, getting alcohol or recovering from alcohol use
  • Feeling a strong craving or urge to drink alcohol
  • Failing to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home due to repeated alcohol use
  • Continuing to drink alcohol even though he knows it’s causing physical, social or interpersonal problems
  • Giving up or reducing social and work activities and hobbies
  • Using alcohol in situations where it’s not safe, such as when driving or swimming
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms — such as nausea, sweating and shaking — when he doesn’t drink, or drinking to avoid these symptoms

Tips to help your alcoholic son

We know how challenging it can be living or dealing with an alcoholic son. You may not have all of the answers, as no parent anticipates having to love their child while they deal with a debilitating disease.

From having compassion to being firm and setting boundaries, here are tips to help you help your son overcome an alcohol use disorder:

Plan what you’ll say

Before you have a conversation with your son, carefully plan what you’ll say to them. It won’t go over well if you begin your conversation that’s motived by emotions, such as sadness, frustration, or anger.


The first step is to tell your son that you’ve noticed unhealthy changes and that you want them to get help. Emphasize that you know that they are more than their addiction and that you want to see them live a long, healthy and happy life.


Attend rehab with your son

Be the emotional support your son will need. Attend rehab with them, if they’re fine with it, and be a part of the treatment process.


Keep the environment alcohol-free

Support your son by keeping the home alcohol free. Don’t drink around your son, provide them with alcohol, or take them to events where there will be alcohol.

Set boundaries

Often, many parents believe they must tolerate the behavior of their children, even if their behavior is unhealthy, harmful, or disruptive. This is not true. Set boundaries of what you will and won’t accept.


Take care of yourself

Loving and caring for an alcoholic son can take a toll on your mind and body. Take the time to relax and do things you enjoy to remain healthy during this challenging time.

Get help for alcoholism

We know how much you want to help your child. Talk to an admissions specialist about admitting your son into our luxury rehab at Mallard Lake Detox Center. We’re a complete rehab treatment center that provides both in-patient and outpatient programs to help people overcome alcohol abuse. To get started, call 936-800-8025 or complete our contact form.

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