Alcohol is a very commonly used drug for many reasons: To relax, socialise, or cope with everyday problems are just some of the reasons.
There are some important things to understand about alcohol use:
Many people can drink at safe levels and won’t experience any negative effects, therefore you don’t need to worry about all alcohol use. This can be normal behaviour for adults.
Experts have suggested that there are some limits adults should consider when drinking alcohol, to try and protect ourselves from harm.
Sometimes, for a number of reasons people drink too much alcohol.
An alcohol addiction is when someone can no longer control when or how much they drink. It is similar to becoming sick. A person can’t stop themselves from having a running nose when they have flu, and in some ways when someone has an alcohol addiction they can’t stop thinking about or drinking alcohol. When someone is addicted to alcohol they feel like they HAVE to drink some in order to feel more like themselves again. For some people who are addicted to alcohol, if they don’t have a drink they can start to become unwell, and it can be dangerous to stop drinking all of a sudden in these cases. No-one plans to become addicted. People may think that they can handle their alcohol or drug use, but when they want to change the way they use, they may find it’s not that simple.
However not all parents who drink too much are addicted to alcohol. Some may only drink every so often, or at the weekend, or at special occasions. This is called binge drinking and can be just as difficult for you to live with. Steps to Cope can support you even if your parent doesn’t drink everyday.
People who live in families where someone drinks too much alcohol might experience other problems too such as mental health problems, or domestic violence.
There are two important signs that a persons alcohol use is a problem. These are:
Loss of Control
Someone may not see that their substance use is out of control and causing problems in their lives. they may drink more than they intend to, or in situations where they don’t want to drink.
If a person continues to drink or use drugs despite the problems it causes – it can be a pretty good sign it’s a problem.
Regardless of how much alcohol your parent drinks, if you feel like you are being affected, it is important to talk to someone about it. Steps to Cope can help you.