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My mother has a problem with drinking

 
My mom has been drinking--a lot. Sometimes she will break things or throw a tantrum. Every episode ends with her yelling at my brother or me. I've tried to get through to her, but usually it only makes her more upset, which leads to more drinking.
 
Since my parents are divorced, I can't talk to my dad because I'm worried he will take me away from my mom. I can't leave her. I feel like I have to be the parent and make sure she doesn't get out of control--it has happened before. How do I make this nightmare stop?

Hey hon, the first thing you need to understand is this is not your fault and you are not alone. Admitting your mother has a problem is the first step to reaching a solution. It takes courage to say your mother has issues with alcohol. Your honesty also shows you love her and want to help her.

Alcohol is a drug

Alcohol can affect a person's health and her behavior. A usually loving and caring mother can become difficult to deal with once she's had a few drinks too many. You cannot blame yourself for your mother's actions and you can't stop her either. She has to want to become better on her own.

Alcoholism is a disease and, like other diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, it needs to be treated professionally. If left untreated, the problem will only become worse and more dangerous. You deserve to live in a safe environment and both your parents want this, too.

Know your role

You are the child here, not the adult. And there is no reason for you to feel like you have to be the parent. It's not fair to you. Instead of dealing with the burden on your own, you need to talk to your father about the problem.

Your father is an adult and he will know how to deal with the situation in an appropriate manner. Let him know you love your mom and you want to help her, but you don't know how. Together, you can come up with the best solution for everyone.

Help is available

Both you and your mom need support to deal with this difficult time in your lives. Keeping it a secret will only harm both of you. Don't overlook your own issues either. You need support as well and there are many groups out there just for you. If you don't know where to find one, ask your school guidance counselor to help you.

Or you can call an organization such as Al-Anon/Alateen at 1-800-344-2666 for help or visit www.al-anon.altateen.org. Or check out Facts on Alcoholism for more information. Remember, knowledge is power and the more you know, the more you can help your mom and your family. Best of luck, girl.

BY L'OREAL THOMPSON ON 6/22/2010 4:31:00 PM

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