How Do I Help my 23 Year Old Daughter With Her Alcohol Problem?
My 23 year old daughter has been drinking since she was 15 or 16. She has been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning. In September of 08 She went to rehab at 21 for 4 to 6 weeks. After that her and her boyfriend broke up.
In September 2009 she was in a car accident (driving drunk) at about 2 in the morning. She had a broken back, broken legs, lacerated pancreas that was split in half from the force of the seat belt. She had 1/2 of her pancreas and some of her spleen removed. She is now in Counseling and she is still drinking.
She says the counseling does not help and that she will be fine once she moves out of the house. She told me today that when she doesn't drink that she thinks about everything and the past two years. Do I tell her counselor? Do I just let it go and see what happens?
For a serious alcohol problem like your daughter has got, my general feeling is that counseling on its own is usually not enough. Yes it can help her address the issues of low self-esteem etc. that she is likely experiencing and that more than likely contribute to her drinking, but its unlikely to help the alcoholism.
A serious alcohol problem or full-blown alcoholism requires major change on a lot of levels, and only comes about through committed effort at working some kind of recovery program that really gets to the heart of the matter - like the 12 steps taught at AA.
The 12 steps aren't the only way, but your daughter needs to find some form of recovery program that is all-embracing - and that will help her address the spiritual, emotional and behavioral aspects that will lead to lasting change and recovery. So counseling can certainly form a part of that, but I do believe she needs more. And if there is information you think can help her counselor, then I don't think there is anything wrong in sharing it.Rehab
is usually only the first step in beating an alcohol problem. Applying the tools learnt at rehab and finding a program of recovery to work are even more crucial. But of course you can't force your daughter to do something she doesn't want to. She has to find her own way, but maybe a reminder as to the direction she could try going in may help her.
Having said all this though, with a bit of luck, this is just a phase your daughter is going through, that unfortunately too many like her go through from their mid/late teens to mid-twenties - and will end up out-growing it. You can't predict how things will turn out - so the main thing for you to do is to teach your daughter about responsibility and hold her accountable for her choices - so if she makes bad choices, she needs to fully experience the undesirable consequences that come with them.
Hopefully that will help her grow up faster and lead her to start making better choices with her life. Best of luck.