Does my parent have a drinking problem

Does My Parent Have a Drinking Problem?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Chardonnay at play dates, purses with wine spouts, and memes showing over-sized goblets of merlot are the humorous rally cries for moms. Many also do not think twice about dads drinking copious amounts of beer or alcohol while tending the grill during a backyard barbecue or birthday bash. However, making light of a parent with a drinking problem has a definite dark side.

Parent With a Drinking Problem

The reality is that some of our parents have a serious problem with alcohol. This can include binge drinking, alcoholism, drunk driving, and lifelong addiction. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “More than ten percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems.”

Drinking in family-friendly atmospheres does not negate the fact that a person is consuming alcohol and may be drinking to excess as a way to handle stress. Mothers and fathers deal with a lot during the day in terms of worries and frustration, which can preclude a parent with a drinking problem.

For some, drinking alcohol, or any substance use disorder, may be a coping mechanism for depression and anxiety. It can be viewed as a release of tension or an escape from the daily problems in their life that cause discontent. When this is the case, help is necessary and assistance can be found at First Steps Recovery.

There Are Health Benefits to Drinking Alcohol, Right?

In an article for NPR, Dr. Elisabeth Poorman cut down the overstated myth that drinking a daily glass of red wine is healthy. The piece explained that moderate drinking has a better chance of leading to excessive drinking, but many people would rather cling to the misrepresented idea that red wine contributes to a healthy heart versus the stigma of being labeled an alcoholic.

Facts show that if a parent indulges in too many daily, or weekly, alcoholic beverages then he or she is likely on a path that can lead to cancer, diabetes, heart conditions, liver problems, higher blood pressure, and the often unspoken mental anguish of depression.

Parents Drinking Too Much Wine

It appears alcohol, specifically wine, is starting to take on the same persona as coffee for helping one get through the day. Coffee can also be addictive and bring about larger than necessary doses of caffeine intake, but it does not typically lead to intoxicated driving, drunken behavior, blackouts, or alcoholism. “Drinking expensive wine is no defense against the ravages of alcohol use. I have found that for a certain socioeconomic class, this misunderstanding has provided a defense mechanism against clear evidence that drinking is affecting their health,” explained Dr. Poorman.

First Steps Recovery does not make excuses for alcohol abuse, instead we work hard to find a personalized treatment plan that will help those in need.

Does My Parent Need an Intervention?

 Intervention is the hardest part of dealing with alcoholism and excessive drinking. Friends and family are often hesitant to step in and question a loved one’s drinking habit because it makes for an uncomfortable situation. If a working mom polishes off two bottles of wine every night but is still going to the office and packing good sack lunches, many people around them do not recognize the problem.

The same is true for a dad that volunteers to coach little league baseball yet consumes large amounts of beer after every practice or game. A high-functioning alcoholic is still an alcoholic.

How Much Is Too Much Alcohol for My Parent?

Regarding unhealthy alcohol use, Dr. Poorman provided numbers stating, “Women who have had four or more drinks in a single day or more than seven drinks a week, or men who have had five or more drinks in a single day or 14 in a single week over the past year, are somewhere on a spectrum of risky drinking.”

Acknowledging the problem is the start of what could be a long treatment process. It is a process that holds a lot of unknowns and can be scary. First Steps Recovery is a high quality addiction treatment center in Fresno County, California; we can determine a program plan that is right for any person.

Asking for help is admirable and facing addiction head on is possible with the assistance from trained professionals. Please call First Steps Recovery today 844-489-0836.


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