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Posted on 15th March 2021

14 signs your parent could be a dependent drinker

What is dependent drinking?

A pattern of harmful drinking can develop at any age and, if left unchecked, can lead to dependency.

Dependent drinkers have a strong urge to drink and often exhibit a loss of control over the amount of alcohol they consume. Over time, dependent drinkers may develop greater tolerance to alcohol and will require ever-increasing volumes to attain the desired effect.

Dependent drinkers will often crave a drink first thing in the morning and can eventually become physically dependent on alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms including nausea, sweating, and shaking.

Wider effects

Parental alcohol dependency can often negatively impact the wider family, including children. These negative effects can continue, or appear, when children enter adulthood and move away from home. Millions of adults across the UK are still negatively affected by their parents drinking or the longer-term effects of growing up around the issue. In fact, there are several personality traits commonly associated with having lived with a parent who was a dependent drinker.

The signs

While the individual symptoms and behaviours of dependent drinkers can vary drastically, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for.

Does your parent(s)

    • Appear drunk more often?
    • Need to drink more to achieve the same effect?
    • Seem tired, irritable, or generally unwell?
    • Struggle to refuse alcohol or stop at one?
    • Seem anxious or depressed, or report difficulty sleeping?
    • Act secretive or dishonest about their consumption?
    • Drink until they pass out?
    • Miss special occasions or events through drinking?
    • Drink alcohol first thing in the morning?
    • Have mood swings or low concentration levels?
    • Seem increasingly isolated and distant from friends and/or family members?
    • Say they need to drink to relax or feel better?
    • Make you afraid to be around them when they are drinking?
    • No longer show interest in things they used to enjoy?

Getting support

If any of the above sounds like your parents drinking, then they may be struggling with alcohol dependency and require additional support. As a first step, we recommend speaking with them openly and honestly about your concerns.

As frustrating as it may be, only they can make the decision to seek help. You can help by offering your support and putting them in touch with a suitable provider.

“If you’re concerned that your parent may be drinking too much alcohol, you may be worried, lonely or even embarrassed. It’s important to remember you’re not alone.”- Lyndsey Evans, Service Manager (Pavilion)

Delphi Medical can support you and your loved ones as they take the first step towards recovery. For more information or a confidential chat, call 01524 39375.

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