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My father is an alcoholic. How do I get him to stop?

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Question - (4 March 2008) 7 Answers - (Newest, 28 February 2010)
A female United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

im 16 years old im pregnant and my dad is an alcoholic. I want him to stop coz he is tearing the family apart and he keaps promising but ends up breaking them. What can i do please help.

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A female reader, Eymann United States +, writes (28 February 2010):

Eymann agony auntIm 14. I know alot of alcoholics. They all have the same problems. Thing is, my dad is literally 10 times worse. Its severe. He abandoned me when i was 5. No contact, no goodbye, no visits. Nothing. I blamed my mom. Blamed myself. Acted out. I didnt understand why he left. August of 2008, I talked to him for the first time. He cried. I cried. He was sober for the phone call, as was planned by my mother. But i knew he still had a drinking problem. That Christmas, I went to visit him by myself. I was 13. I noticed that he drank 10-15 beers every night. Then when he got bored with that, he would pull out the vodka. It didnt really alarm me because I tried shutting it out and pretending like everything was okay. However, this last time i visited him, it got really bad. 4th of July. We were at a party and he drank hard liquor all night. I yelled at him, but he didnt seem to care. He got so drunk that night that he passed out in the back seat of his car with his pants down. His girlfriend had to drive us home. I kept quiet the rest of the time i was there because i was still angry. He didnt call for about three months. Then i got up the courage to call him. I cried my eyes out and explained how much he hurt me over the years and how i wanted/needed him to stop drinking. His response.. "Well, honey, im almost done with half of my life by now and i wanna spend it the way i want. And if that means being an alcoholic and a bad father, so be it." Ill never forget that night. Since then, he never calls. I call him maybe once every two months. Sometimes he answers, sometimes he doesnt. When he does, he rushes to get me off the phone. My point in all this is.. You cant change someone. This is a choice. But once that choice turns into a disease, its no longer under anyones control but the one who is consuming the alcohol. They have to want to stop drinking in order for it to actually happen. My dad doesnt want to stop drinking. I think im just gonna give up trying. Why waste time and energy on saving someone who doesnt want to be saved?


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A female reader, Amy1090 United Kingdom +, writes (18 September 2009):

My father too is an alcoholic.

I am 20 years of age and my parents split when I was 5 months old. I've never really had my Dad is my life till I was about 16. My father drinks and smokes day in and day out. I have learnt over the 4 years that Dad will not drop the drink and fags for anyone or thing. He will not go to rehab, he will not try to quit. Over time I have accepted that and I have learnt what makes him angry, volient and what doesnt. I now have a steady relationship with him. He IS hurtful and he DOES say nasty stuff but Ive learnt to deal with it. To me its normal. You cannot STOP someone from drinking.. they need will power to stop. I thought when my Dads sister died from Cancer that it would be big enough thing to stop him drinking and smoking.. he watched her suffer. But I guess that just made him worse. You have to learn to cope with it.. its hard, but not impossible.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2008):

I too have a father who is an alcoholic. I am 33 years old and have just asked my father to leave my home. I have allowed him to live with my husband and I (and our three children) in an effort to try and help him. I have done everything in the world to try and help my dad, but I have just realized that I cannot fix him. He is the only one who can change this situation. We have done rehab, meds, the whole nine yards. The truth is he does not want to quit drinking. I have been stressed and depressed. I cannot function as the wife and mother that my husband and children deserve. Something had to go. I love my daddy dearly, but he was tearing my family apart and I had to make a decision to put my family first. What do you say to your little boy when he asks you why Papa is acting like that? It's terrible when your 7 year old knows what being ****-faced drunk looks like. I could not take it anymore. I guess what I am trying to say is you have to put your baby first. Children are innocent and they do not ask to be born into this world...we bring them into it (and it's a f'ed up world). That being said, they deserve our love and protection and to have the gift of innocence for as long as we can possibly give it to them. Treasure your child, make every effort to think of them and put their needs and happiness before anyone elses. Including your father. I know how hard this may be, but my kids have been exposed to way too much thanks to my alcoholic father. If I could turn back time...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (18 March 2008):

Take my advice, I've been on booze for ten years. You need to make two seperate voids in your head. In one void you will be a protective and professional mum and not listern to the promises made. Your child will thank you one day. In the other void you will talk to your pop even when he's smashed. Tell him how you feel and that you love him always. There must be a trigger for his alcoholism, try to get advice from your doctor too. Don't mix your voids cos you'll all be fucked, be strong or you will fail. Good luck little one xxx

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A female reader, SouthernBelle United States +, writes (5 March 2008):

SouthernBelle agony auntI myself was recently in your situation. I am 17 and was pregnant, I sadly had a miscarriage but my father is also an alcoholic. He has been for years, and my family has had to accept the fact that he's not going to change, and I hate to say this but there really isn't anything you can do but distance yourself from him. Alcoholics don't tend to quit drinking until they hit rock bottom or have something happen in their lives thats like a wake up call, hey I need to quit drinking. You can't talk to an alcoholic because they are convinced that they have no problem and they aren't a drunk. In my case my father and my mother are divorced so I only had to see him at certain times, if you live with him it may be hard but I would try and avoid him as much as possible while he's drinking. If you are quite a ways along in your pregnancy you may want to try and find somewhere else for a while to keep you and your unborn child. I know it doesn't help much but feel free to message me, I will offer whatever advice I can.

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A female reader, Jmo United States +, writes (4 March 2008):

Jmo agony auntI know your question is regarding your father's alcoholism and how you can get him to stop drinking (and the truth is YOU CAN'T...sorry) but I'm kind of concerned about how this may be affecting your pregnancy situation. Has your dad's drinking made it more difficult to cope with? Does he even know about it? Can you speak to your mom or an aunt or a friend's parent or even the father's parents? I don't know the specifics of your situation and I'm sure you've thought of these questions before, but you're in a time of need right now and need to focus on your self right now. Trying to handle another person's problem at this time is probably the most stressful thing you can do for yourself at the present. Take care of yourself and I wish you the best of luck.


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A female reader, cd206 United Kingdom +, writes (4 March 2008):

cd206 agony auntYou can't stop him drinking. I don't know if you've ever had an addiction but breaking it is incredibly difficult and sometimes, even when u want to stop its not tht easy. What u can do is ask ur dad to get help off AA or a similar organisation. For teens like urself there is an organisation called alateen which gives support to the kids of alcoholics. i'm sure u could find their details by searching on google. Good luck.


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