Alcoholism is a much more complicated problem than many people realize. The phrase “kicking the habit” makes it sound like stopping biting your nails or giving up dairy. But the truth is, this is an addiction that affects more people than just the alcoholic themselves. And those complications are compounded when you add parenthood into the mix. So, how do you reach out for help as a parent with addiction issues of their own?
Join us today, as we bring you three of our top tips for this awkward but necessary process.
Reach Out To Someone
One of the most difficult parts of dealing with alcoholism in the family is dealing with feelings of isolation. Start by reaching out and talking to someone. Therapists and authorized counselors are required, by law, to never disclose information they acquire during patient sessions unless absolutely necessary. So you should feel safe knowing you can speak to them about your struggles as a parent with addiction.
The impact of therapy on your ability to live your life shouldn’t be understated, either. You’ll gain insights that make your own life easier, but which also give you the tools you need to be a better supporting player in your loved one’s battle with alcohol addiction, as well.
Protect The Children
In the social services industry, any mental health professional, pastor, or teacher, or really any professional with access to children is what’s known as a “mandated reporter.” These people are required, by law, to disclose any and all information that would keep a child safe. This same regulation applies to the elderly, adult dependents and anybody else potentially at risk, as well.
Make no mistake: alcoholism affects the children in a family often and without rhyme or reason. Even when alcoholic parents are not outright aggressive or abusive, they can easily put their children at risk. Driving under the influence. Negligent behavior with regards to their safety around the house. These aren’t always necessarily true, but is statistically more likely in a home where someone is consistently heavily under the influence.
If you know your child may be in danger due to alcoholism, talk to your care providers. You may be worried your child will be removed from their home, but it’s actually rare for children to be permanently removed when the parent is the one bringing the issue to the authorities. Work with your caregivers and you can keep your child safe until your alcoholism is no longer a safety issue.
Be Aware Of Your Situation
Denial is one of the biggest killers among people struggling with alcoholism. And, while it’s to be expected with someone struggling with a disease like this, it’s important to be self-aware enough to know that at least your habit is affecting your children.
In situations like this, it’s important to act on your instincts. You might rationalize your addiction in many different ways but, when there’s the risk of danger to your child, “better safe than sorry” is always the best advice.
Reach out to friends, family, and anybody you have a good working relationship with. If you’ve lost contact and feel isolated, then make the leap and contact someone you haven’t spoken to in years. We live in a digital age and communication is easier than ever.
Parent With Addiction
What’s important, here, is to frame your situation through the potential for harm to your children. And remember, you can always reach out to a professional organization with experience in rehabilitation, like Serenity Springs. Visit us, today, to find out more about our service portfolio and how we can help you take back the reins of your sobriety as a parent with addiction.