In Al-anon we will see a parent who needs to find help for themselves because their teen has been on the path of drinking alcohol. Like most people who are dealing with an alcoholic they enter the program really frustrated, disappointed, fearful, worried and angry.
The best place for anyone dealing with a problem drinker who is a beginner in understanding alcoholism is at a beginners meeting in the AL-anon program. This is where you will start to understand the disease that you are dealing with. Coping with an alcoholic is too much for most of us. In these first steps Al-anon meetings is where we are able to meet others who are going through similar situations. There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge to be gained by attending support group meetings on a regular basis.
Here are a few things that a parent might learn early on when they start getting help for dealing with their teenage son or daughter who is suffering from alcohol abuse.
They did not cause their child to drink alcoholic
They cannot cure the disease of alcoholism in their son or daughter
They cannot control this difficult situations
Anger and Anxiety are weapons of the problem drinker
It is not their fault
Getting an education about the disease of alcoholism and what to expect may happen if the child continues to consume alcohol on a regular basis is very critical in the beginning stages. A parent must be prepared to get their son or daughter the help they need as soon as they are ready to enter into a recovery program.
When a parent needs help, it is frustrating to here that there is not much they can do to “cause their teen to quit drinking.” As they express their needs in support group meetings designed to help friends and family members of alcoholics understand what is going on, they begin to realize that the help they will find is for themselves to cope with the teens drinking problem.
There really is no way to make a teenager stop drinking alcohol. They are no different than anyone else who suffers from the disease of alcoholism.
Some of the “scarred straight” type programs may help point teenagers in the right direction and make them fear what could happen if they do not stop drinking alcohol and acting wild. I am not sure what they statistics are for these types of programs, but I do know that the one that my son attended helped him do less drinking.
It appears that the best thing a parent can do is seek out help from programs like Al-anon. This is where they can get a lot of information from an organization that has been helping parents of teens drinking alcohol for decades.
Here are a few helpful articles:
Stop arguing with an alcoholic
Why Should The Whole Family Suffer
A Relative is an Alcoholic
If you decide to start attending Al-anon meetings give them a try for at least six meetings. Many parents find the help that they need for coping with their teen son or daughter and continue attending meetings for years to come. Not all stories end with bad news. The rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous are filled with success stories from people who have been able to quit and stay sober for many years.
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