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Signs of an Alcoholic Dad & What to Do

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

June 21, 2024 (Originally Published)

June 21, 2024 (Last Updated)

Table of Contents

Having an alcoholic dad can make you feel mixed up and hurt. Sometimes, it’s hard to know if your parent has a problem with alcohol because they might try to keep it a secret.

Keep reading to figure out if your dad has a drinking problem and learn how to help him get the right treatment.

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Need help getting addiction treatment?

If you need immediate help and same-day rehab for your father, call 866.330.9449.

Is My Dad an Alcoholic? | Signs of Alcoholism

Take our quiz below based on the DSM-5 symptoms of alcoholism, to gain insight into your dad’s drinking habits and learn how to support him towards effective treatment:

  1. Craving: Does your dad often crave or have a strong desire to drink alcohol?
  2. Loss of control: Does your dad struggle to limit how much he drinks, even when he wants to stop or cut down?
  3. Tolerance: Does your dad need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effects he used to with less?
  4. Withdrawal: Does your dad experience withdrawal symptoms when he stops drinking or tries to cut down, like shaking, sweating, or feeling sick?
  5. Time spent: Does your dad spend a lot of time drinking or recovering from its effects, which interferes with his work, school, or home responsibilities?
  6. Reduced activities: Has your dad reduced or given up important social, work, or recreational activities because of his drinking?
  7. Continued use: Despite experiencing negative consequences like relationship problems or health issues, does your dad continue to drink?
  8. Failed attempts: Has your dad tried unsuccessfully to cut down or control his drinking?
  9. Social problems: Does your dad have conflicts with others due to his drinking, like arguments with family or friends?
  10. Neglected responsibilities: Does your dad neglect important tasks or obligations at work, school, or home because of his drinking?
  11. Use in hazardous situations: Does your dad drink in situations where it’s physically dangerous, like driving or operating machinery?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, your dad might have alcohol use disorder and could benefit from professional help.

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How Do I Talk to My Dad About His Drinking?

Talking to your dad about his drinking habits can be challenging, but it’s an important step in helping him get the support he needs. 

Begin the conversation somewhere calm and private, ensuring he’s sober and receptive. Express your concerns and observations about his drinking behavior, using “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. Let him know you care about his well-being and are there to support him through this. Offer examples of how his drinking has impacted you or your family, highlighting any concerns about his health, relationships, or responsibilities. Encourage him to seek help from a healthcare professional, counselor, or support group, and reassure him that he’s not alone in this journey. 

Be patient and understanding, as change takes time, and offer ongoing support and encouragement as he begins his path to recovery.

What Should I Do If My Dad Denies Alcoholism?

If your dad doesn’t think he has a problem with alcohol, it might feel tough. But keep talking to him about your worries, even if he doesn’t agree at first. Keep offering support and reminding him that help is there whenever he’s ready. You can suggest he talk to a doctor or counselor. Sometimes, having someone else explain things can make a difference.

If things don’t change and your dad still doesn’t want help, you might consider staging an intervention. This is when you gather family and friends together to talk to your dad about his drinking. With the help of a professional, you can share your concerns and encourage him to get help. Remember, taking care of yourself is important too. Talk to people you trust and look after yourself during this time.

How Do I Get Help for My Alcoholic Dad?

Here are some ways to get help for your alcoholic dad:

  • Learn about alcoholism: Understand more about alcoholism and how it affects people and their families. Knowing more can help you talk to your dad in a caring way.
  • Talk about your concerns: Find a time when your dad is not drinking and talk to him about your worries. Use words like “I feel” to explain how his drinking makes you feel.
  • Find treatment options: Look into different ways your dad can get help, like counseling or going to a rehab center. Think about where it is, how much it costs, and what kind of help it offers.
  • Get others involved: If your dad doesn’t want help, ask other family members or friends to talk to him too. Sometimes hearing from different people can help him see he needs help.
  • Encourage professional help: Tell your dad to talk to a doctor or counselor who knows about addiction. They can help him figure out what to do next.
  • Support your dad: Let your dad know you’re there for him, no matter what. Going through this can be hard, but having your support can make a big difference.
  • Take care of yourself: Look after yourself too. Talk to someone you trust about how you feel, and remember to take breaks and do things you enjoy.

Call our dedicated team of recovery experts for help getting your dad into rehab at 866.330.9449.

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Call Renaissance Recovery for Help Getting Your Dad into Rehab

If you need to help your alcoholic Dad into rehab, reach out to Renaissance Recovery in California or Florida. Our treatment centers by the beach offer effective outpatient treatment for alcohol addiction to help your father get sober and stay sober.

We can put you in touch with medical detox centers if your dad needs help with alcohol withdrawal. this will prepare him for ongoing treatment at one of our luxury rehabs.

All alcohol addictions are unique, so we’ll help your father with personalized therapies, such as:

  • Talk therapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Medications
  • One-on-one counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Aftercare

Call our recovery experts today to begin adddiction treatment at 866.330.9449.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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