Al-Anon helps parents of problem drinkers

Published by at 10:45 am under Alcoholic Child

Ellen, Joe, and Sharon, all active Al-Anon members ¬†are with us today to talk about how Al-Anon helped them deal with their children’s drinking.

How to locate a meeting

“First Steps to Al-Anon Recovery” from Al-Anon Family Groups is a series of podcasts to discuss some common concerns for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking.


117 comments on “Al-Anon helps parents of problem drinkers”

  1. Nina says:

    All these stories sound like me. My 35 year old adult alcoholic daughter lives with me after a year in prison for a fifth dui. It has been a year and for awhile she seemed to have changed. But lately her drinking is out of control. I am moving in a few months and I told her she can’t go with me when she’s not sober. Generally she’s a lovely girl but she becomes a mean drunk when she drinks. I don’t know what to do I have no other family or friends as support. My heart is broken I worry about my daughter whAt will happen to her.. Mostly I feel trapped and resentful of her bad choices.

  2. Kathy says:

    I am responding to Micheal’s post above…Thank you, Micheal! I am the parent of an 18 year old daughter that struggles with drug addiction (or alcohol–depending on what is available to her at the time). We have done all that we can to help her–counseling, rehabs, calling the police to arrest her when she has become violent, etc.

    She is currently in a situation where, after breaking her probation, her PO has given her the choice of jail time (up to 90 days) and having a criminal record, or rehab (a 12 month Christian program is what has been offered unless she can find something else and pay for it) with her record being hidden. We have heard of (personally) many people who have been to this particular rehab program with amazing long-term success, and of course would like her to choose that option. As of now, she is deciding on jail.

    She is currently living with us, after being kicked out of a friend’s family’s house about a month ago. Our home was so peaceful and enjoyable when she was not living here, and we were able to enjoy our day to day lives (as was our 15 year old son). We don’t want to let her move home after release from jail. We know if we let her come here, she will refuse to leave, and will continue to disrupt our lives and have no motivation to get herself healthy and independent.

    Because she is so young (and the vulnerability that comes with being a girl), this is so scary to me! I can’t think of anywhere that she can go besides a homeless shelter or sober living home, or something of that sort. My alanon family tells me that this is what she needs to do to take responsibility for herself and grow up, and I believe that is true, but it is going to be so hard! I am holding on to stories like Micheal’s, and I know I need to trust God to protect her and reach her…allowing her to move back home will just delay her chances for recovery.

    Thank you, Micheal, for sharing!

  3. Bobbi says:

    My 23 yr old daughter is an alcoholic addict. She lives with me & my teenage son, I flew her out from la to join us in Seattle where we had started a new life & are thriving. She’s been here a month & has cut her wrist, beat me up 3 times, stolen my purse, bit her brother, broken my phone & lied so much I don’t know anything anymore. Last night the cops came with dogs to track her but she got away. Im so torn as she doesn’t have any money, friends or car.. yet I’ve locked her out. I told her I’d buy her a bus ticket back to California but she has noone, nowhere to go. I’m sick with fear and grief and ptsd from her past suicide attempts… for 10 years Ive tried everything but always stayed by her side. She has been out of prison for a year but I just learned she drank baking soda to pass her drug tests so she got off the plane soun out of control. as her brother stood by with flowers. I’m laying here on no sleep have to work 8 hours today.. please God what do I do?

  4. Angela says:

    My son is 29 he’s an alcoholic. He is in denial about his drinking this weekend as I write this he’s gone out every night comes back sloppy drunk. I don’t know what to do. I try to talk to him and he can’t stand still long enough to listen – he cuss me out – this just started. He’s always angry, blames everybody for his bad choices. Hates anyone who doesn’t like him – for one reason or another. I used to be able to say things to shut it down for a few days now he doesn’t care what I say. I want to kick him out he would end up homeless. What should I do I’m planning on retiring in another year and just leaving but I cant take it now – what shall I do?

  5. Trina says:

    So glad I found you guys.


  6. Bernice says:

    Wow…I just came upon this website and have read the comments. I just started going to Alynon and heard a comment about understanding how an alcoholic thinks, which made me realize they don’t think the way a sober person thinks. I have read some articles on that tonight so I can get educated. Christmas day I had my 24 yr old daughter police escorted out of my home. I am a single mom of 4 adult children…she is my oldest. It was the hardest thing I have done. It wasn’t without warning(s). She knew I was at 0 tolerance. The ‘cake was baked’; and her behavior Christmas morning was the ‘icing on the cake’ that required her separation. I had determined that day she was not going to continue to control the home environment and steal our joy. She was making her choices and now I was making mine. I told her I am getting off this merry go round and I am not going to be a supporting actor in this drama in which she is the lead actress. My first meeting I was given a pamphlet about the ‘merry go round’ (this was a confirmation for me). I now realize I am hearing ‘our’ story through the mouths of so many others. We have so much in common. This is not unique to me/us! I am hoping, trusting and believing that she will conquer this addiction and in the meantime, I am becoming educated and getting equipped for whatever might come my direction good or bad. Since having her escorted out of my home we have much peace and it has saved my relationship with my other two teenage children (living at home) who needed to be relieved of her toxic behavior. I know I did the right thing. Some might think I should have done this sooner but I needed to know within myself that I did all I could do. She has cut communication with me, so I respect her desire to do so trusting that we will be reunited at some point. In the meantime, I have decided to open a Word document on my computer and when I feel like talking to her or think about her I will record the day/date & time and write what I am thinking or what I would like to say to her. Perhaps one day she will be able to read it. My thoughts of her are not of hate, resentment or ill will but of great sadness to know that her life could be so much better than what she is experiencing now. I realized that she is very resourceful when she needs to be and that she was using my home & me and controlling the dynamics of the household to her benefit and it continued to enable her and I realized I can’t ‘cure’ her. I was putting the welfare of my other two teenage children at risk by continuing to allow her to remain in the home. Alynon is very helpful and I am becoming informed and equipped for whatever lies ahead. Blessings to all of you. None of us realized this was the road we were going to have to travel.

  7. Sue says:

    My son is 24 – in the UK it is really hard to get help if you don’t have private medical insurance . My son is an alcoholic and nearly died – we finally got him into a 10 day detox programmed as an inpatient and when he came out he did so well – not drinking for two years. Unfortunately he has just come out of a really damaged relationship and has started drinking again. When he is drunk he is abusive and suicidal – when he is not drunk he works occasionally but generally is around the house. His attitude is awful and he asks for money, lifts to and fro and if you say no he is completely unreasonable. I am at the stage now where I don’t want him living with us but he has nowhere else to live or go to and I can’t bring myself to throw him out – he also would get violent if I tried and this scares me. If he gets violent, what do I do? Who do I call? Our house is not a happy one because of this – my husband and my relationship is suffering – he doesn’t speak to Jack – I’m stuck in the middle and feel so desperate – I feel ill. I can’t get my son to seek help for himself and I don’t have the money to support him – he is so difficult to live with – I don’t know where to turn

  8. etta says:


  9. WANDA says:

    I have a 33 year old son, that admits that he is an alcoholic. Not only is he an alcoholic, but also smoke weed every day. He would start drinking from 9 am until he comes in at 11:30 or later. I have always had problems with him since he was school. He has been arrested plenty of times and have spent about 2 years in jail. When he is sober , he is wonderful, but after the alcohol he turns into someone else. I want him out my house. He blames everyone else for his problems. I tell him to take a good look in the mirror and look at himself, because the problem is in the mirror looking back at him. I advised him to go get help and he refused to. I am tired . I have a business with in my home and I have clients on a daily basis. He comes in to my business and acts like a fool. I warn him and threatening him. It work for a week or two, but then it goes right back. My next step is to have him removed from my house by the law. I am tired . I came to the point where I even put my home on the market , so I can move out of state. I AM TIRED. Do you have any suggestions,

  10. Daisie says:

    My daughter is 36, watching her mixing zanax, anti depressant and alcohol…numbing herself
    gradually more and more often. My heart is broken, I am not able to talk to her, she denies and tells me its my imagination,,,that I am making drama when there is NO problem here. She lives with me, can’t manage her life. Already dysfunctional, she turned to alcohol in the past few years and it has gotten out of control. She is now jealous because her dog clings to me when she is out of it , I feel so alone and desperate. Her health is not good, she refuses to follow up doctor’s appointments.She has mental and emotional problem. If there is place called hell….it is right here, right now. Pray for us.

  11. Michael says:

    Im 23 years old, an alcoholic, and a son to loving parents. To those whose children are destroying their lives because of alcoholism, there is hope. A little over a year ago, my dad had enough of me and my unending BS, and told me I had 2 weeks to find a new place to live. This may sound harsh, but it was the best thing that could have happened. For the first time in my life, i was forced to face the real world, and as long as others enabled me, I continued to drink, facing homelessness, starvation, with almost no resources, I found a way to get drunk. by the grace of God I ended up in a rehab, and knowing i had nowhere to go if i left, i stayed for 9 months. sounds like a long time but compared to the years i had spent a slave to alcohol, it was nothing. after all that i came home to mom and dad and in a few short months i was drunk agan, but the seed was planted, and somewhere around 4 months later I had a God given moment of clarity, and I put myself into a sober house. Through that, and with the program of AA behind me, i have come a long way since, im sober only 4 months, but im signed up for school, im working and most importantly, im able to have a real relationship with the ones i love again. point is, with addiction, the only thing that can break the cycle is a major upheaval, and as parents you have the opportunity to make that happen. I urge you, do not wait, do not deny the alcoholic in your life the pain he NEEDS to feel in order to be openminded and willing enough to get help. sincerely Michael.

  12. Fay says:

    My daughter lost her battle with alcohol about a month ago and I lost her. She left behind an 18 year old daughter, a senior in high school.

    I know now that she is at peace but have no idea why she drank so much that it killed her. She wouldn’t talk about it. In fact she wouldn’t talk to me at all the last months of her life. She had been to 2 or 3 rehabs this year and almost died in May. She came to my house after she left the hospital and was so much better when she left here. She told me she never wanted another drink – the doctor told her when she was in the hospital that she would die if she started drinking again. Her liver was sick and she had developed “wet brain” (Wernicke-Koraskoff syndrome). She stayed sober about two months and just all of a sudden started drinking again.

    She died at her home alone and I pray she just passed away in her sleep and didn’t suffer. She had secluded herself and they said she had been dead a few days when they found her. I hoped up until the morning I got the call that she would quit drinking. I still didn’t want to believe she was gone. I didn’t get to say goodbye. I felt I had abandoned her but no one could live with her when she was drinking.

    I know she was an adult and made her own choices. I didn’t cause her to drink and I couldn’t cure her either. But I wanted to. I wanted to fix her. The only thing that kept me from that was what I learned in my ALANON meetings. They will help you learn how take care of yourself and avoid the tornado like life that an addict will lead you to as you try to fix them.

    I hope our country will develop some long term rehab programs. 8-30 days just isn’t enough for most of the addicts

    I don’t miss what she had become but I miss my girl.

  13. Barbielanell says:

    Reading these painful posts I am again reminded that I am not alone. Nothing I could reveal here would be shocking. That fact is sadly comforting, but only in a relative manner that no one who does not live the life (nightmare) of an alcoholic’s (or two alcohics’ in my case ): parent could understand. I am in a state of humble prayer for all of us.

  14. helen says:

    my son is 42 and has been drinking since he was 17 he is a binge drinker I am a widow of 10 years and I do not want to care for my son any more I want him to move out of my home but I know he can not cope on his own what do I do

  15. Pam says:

    My son is 30 years old and an alcoholic. He was released from prison 6 mos. ago, and is on probation for another 6 mos. He is living in my trailer, and driving my sister’s car. He doesn’t drink and drive. I have always been his primary support, have always let him live with me. Recently he missed a very important appointment due to being too hung over to get up. It was with a psychiatrist, and was to recertify his Social Security disability benefits. I was so angry at him for missing this appointment I left and moved in my sister who lives nearby. I cannot support him any longer. He is verbally and emotionally abusive to me. My trailer is very small and really cannot house both of us. I am able to live at my sister’s for now. I am about to get HUD, which in CA will assist me in getting a new place. My son was initially going to get HUD through me…but I have changed that. I cannot drive him around, go to store to buy alcohol for him, get up to drive his girlfriend to work early in morning, etc. I feel like I’m being used and abused. I recently went to al-anon. My guilt is eating me up. I don’t want him to get arrested again. I need to live my own life now however….I was very stressed out when I was living with him in my trailer. I feel like I shouldn’t have let him come home to me and my trailer after his release from prison. He has a roof and a car to drive for now. I am letting him live his own life. He has another appointment with a psychiatrist coming up….I left him information about that appt. I’m hoping he makes that one, because he will lose his benefits if he misses it. He is being abusive to me with text messages. I need to turn my phone off. I know I can’t go back to trailer with him there…but its so hard! I need to find another al-anon meeting today.

  16. Mae says:

    My story is pretty much a carbon copy of all the others
    I kicked my 37 year old alcoholic son out.he don’t know his way around this city.should I leave it in God’s hands or put a missing person report.since I kicked him out.

  17. Pat says:

    My son is 39 and also a alcoholic. He recently was kicked out of my mother’s home where he was staying after getting out of jail. He spent 2 months in jail for choking me I had him artested. It was the hardest thing I had to do. I too thought after spending two months in jail that he would stay sober and be on the right path. I was wrong he started doing the same thing over and over. With no job for a month somehow he was sneaking alcohol into my mother home. He would become verbally abusive with till she had enough and asked him to leave. He begged her on hands and knees not to throw him out,but my husband and made him leave. He now sleeps in his truck sometimes that is broken outside his grandmother home. Still drinking heavy I worry about him still. Somehow I too started going to AL non meeting. I learned that I wasn’t alone that I have God for help. Somehow as a mom I wish he was a little kid again that way this pain wouldn’t be so hard.

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