Alcohol and the family

A parent’s drinking can impact on all aspects of a young person’s life, at home, at school, relationships with family and friends. When one member of the family has a drinking problem, all family members are affected. In some families both parents will have a problem with alcohol.

Don’t feel guilty or ashamed about the problem at home. It is normal to have confused feelings – loving your parents but hating the drinking, both at the same time.

Harmful drinking can affect the ability of a parent to care and meet our emotional needs. It may cause a parent’s behaviour to change, they may become angry and selfish, causing arguments and atmospheres at home. For some young people this may mean taking on adult responsibilities, doing household chores, caring for your self and for younger children in the family.

A parent’s alcohol problem is not your fault, you cant make it stop, nothing you said or did caused this to happen. Even if they say this when they are drunk and angry, it’s not true. You are not to blame.

If you don’t have this problem at home, you may have a friend whose family has a problem with alcohol or drugs. Let them know that you care and show them this page of information.



Freephone Helpline 0808 802 9000

We offer help, advice and information for individuals and their families experiencing alcohol related problems.

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