Helping Your Alcoholic Father

Do you have a father who drinks too much and doesn’t seem to be capable of admitting it or looking for the help he needs? Too often, the child of an alcoholic father finds themselves in the difficult position of wanting to help their dad but not knowing what to do. Hand in Hand Recovery Center offers specialized addiction treatment for men that helps males from all walks of life regain control of their lives. Our outpatient programs offer different levels of care to meet the needs of a diverse population of men. Our compassionate staff understands the specific challenges that overcoming alcoholism presents for men and helps them learn to heal. 

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Signs Your Father May Be Addicted to Alcohol

It can be difficult to recognize that our parents are struggling because they are supposed to be strong and have all the answers. The reality is that anyone can become vulnerable to alcohol addiction. Common signs to look for that indicate your father may be addicted to alcohol include:

  • Drinking alcohol on a daily basis
  • Developing a tolerance and increasing how much he drinks
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Trying to quit drinking but not being successful
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Moodiness or violent tendencies
  • Drinking negatively impacts his relationship with his children and other family members or friends
  • Difficulty at work or keeping a job
  • Isolating, often to spend time drinking alone
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and social events
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Using alcohol to cover up symptoms of illnesses like depression, PTSD, or anxiety

How to Help Your Alcoholic Father

Helping your alcoholic father can begin before you talk to him about getting help. Look for treatment options by doing research through online searches and talking to a physician or addiction specialist. You can present some options for different types of treatment programs and let him know how easy it is to get started on healing. People are often more likely to go for help when the legwork of finding it has already taken place.

Ask your dad what help he will need when he goes to treatment. If he goes to a residential program, offer to look after the house and pets. If he goes to outpatient care, offer to give him a ride to his sessions or to pick up any prescriptions he needs.

The Impact of an Alcoholic Father on the Family Unit

Familes work best when both parents are in good physical and mental condition. This includes not having a substance use disorder like alcoholism. Having an alcoholic father can cause tremendous damage to a family, including specifically to his children. Fathers who struggle with alcoholism have an increased risk of engaging in domestic violence. This increases the chance that children will suffer from physical or sexual abuse. As well, a life that centers around alcoholism often leads a parent to neglect or abandon their child. 

Fathers who abuse alcohol end up modeling to their children that their issues can be covered up with substance abuse. This robs the child of the ability to develop healthy coping skills. In turn, this can create or continue a cycle in which the children grow up to develop their own alcohol addiction. 

Can You Stop Your Dad From Drinking?

When kids see a parent in trouble, they instinctively want to help. They often believe that if they just say the right thing or are “good”, they can save their alcoholic father from himself. In reality, the only person who can stop an addiction is the person who has it. Children do not cause alcoholism to happen, nor can they be blamed for not convincing their dad to get treatment. They can talk to their dad and offer to find him help, but they cannot make him take that step.

How To Talk to Your Father About His Alcohol Use

If you want to talk to your alcoholic father about his illness, there are some general guidelines to follow. First, talk to him when he is sober and not hungover. Let him know that he has an illness that millions suffer from, and he needs treatment. Explain calmly how he is harming himself and his family and he deserves help. 

Be compassionate in your approach so that he understands he has a disorder. At the same time, use healthy boundaries. Tell him that you are willing to help him find help, but that you are also unwilling to play a part in his continuing the cycle of drinking. Be clear about not doing things like buying him alcohol, making excuses to others about his drinking, or bailing him out of legal troubles like DWI/DUI.

Men and Addiction

Addiction impacts the lives of many people. In particular, men can fall victim to the idea that drinking excessively is just part of being a man. From childhood, boys are exposed to advertising that shows men drinking alcohol for reasons like getting a promotion at work or while watching sports. The high school and college experiences often include experimenting with consuming high quantities of alcohol to the point of endangering a person’s life. The legality of alcohol can also lull men into a false sense of feeling like it can’t be that dangerous. 

When it comes to using alcohol, studies of fathers show that 36.2% engaged in binge drinking in the past 30 days. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks within a short period of time. Almost 10% drank heavily in the past 30 days, which means binge drinking five or more times per month. These startling numbers show that fathers who are addicted to alcohol are not uncommon.

Find Treatment For Your Alcoholic Father Today

Do you have a father who abuses alcohol and seems lost in a world of addiction that hurts him and his family? Being the child of an alcoholic father means living with painful challenges, but hope is available. Hand in Hand Recovery Center created a treatment program specifically for men addicted to alcohol. We provide different levels of outpatient care that allow dads to get the highly effective care they need and get back to being the men and the parents that they want to be. 

To find out more about how we can help you change a man’s life, visit our admissions page now. Our staff can answer all of your questions and get your loved one started on a healthy new life today.

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