How to Help an Alcoholic Daughter
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 52 percent of adults drink alcohol regularly. Alcohol is commonly consumed in social situations, during celebrations, and even during family gatherings. You may need to learn how to help an alcoholic daughter if she is drinking alcohol to feel better or to enhance her mood. If you suspect that your daughter drinks too much, she may be an alcoholic.
How Do I Know if My Daughter Drinks Too Much?
It's easy to overlook a drinking problem. If you don't see your daughter very often, you may not know the extent of her drinking. However, you may notice signs of an alcohol addiction, such as the following:
- Changes in behavior
- Lying to friends and family about drinking habits
- Drinking alcohol in order to relax or relieve anxiety
- Relationship problems
- Legal problems stemming from driving under the influence or from disorderly conduct
- Poor performance at work or at school
- Impulsive, reckless behavior
- Neglecting personal responsibilities or breaking promises or commitments
- Tremors or slurred speech
- There is a fine line between alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction. If your daughter physically needs alcohol to function or if she cannot go about her daily life without drinking alcohol, she is an alcoholic.
What Should I Do if I Think My Daughter is an Alcoholic?
If you suspect that your daughter is an alcoholic, be supportive and nonjudgmental. Although confronting your daughter may seem like the best option, she may be in denial about her addiction. Denial often prevents alcoholics from seeking help, so it is important to help your daughter become aware of the addiction herself. You cannot force your daughter to get help; instead, support her and guide her to the resources available for alcoholics.
Should I Stage an Intervention?
Because alcoholics are often in denial about their addiction, it may be necessary to stage an intervention. This may involve simply talking to your daughter one-on-one, or you may wish to confront her with a close friend or spouse. Approach her when she is sober and relaxed and tell her that you are concerned about her drinking. Let her know you want to be supportive and assist her in getting help. If she denies the problem, remind her of specific times when her drinking caused problems for her or your family. If she refuses to listen, enlist the help of people who are close to your daughter; ask them to gently confront her with their concerns as well.
How to Help Others Struggling with Alcohol
What Kind of Support Can I Offer?
Positive support for a daughter who drinks too much should not involve making excuses for her behavior or protecting her from the consequences of her drinking. Continuing to help her when she gets into trouble because of her drinking may send the message that drinking too much is acceptable. It may also prevent her from finding the motivation to seek treatment.
If your daughter is an alcoholic, she will need information about support groups, treatment options, and counseling. Have that information ready when you confront her so you can follow through on your commitment to support her. Offer to take her to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, or suggest that you accompany her to an appointment with a counselor who specializes in addiction.
Supporting your daughter also requires finding support for yourself and your family. Many communities offer support groups like Al-Anon to help parents, friends, and family members of alcoholics understand the addiction and discuss ways to help. You can also meet with a counselor to help find ways to deal with your daughter's alcoholism.
Call us to discuss your options for how to help an alcoholic daughter today. The confidential, free national referral helpline is staffed around the clock to provide valuable information and resources for alcoholics and their families.