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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.

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Jul 19, 2014
help for 23 year old son NEW
by: Anonymous

I do not understand how all of this even gets
going with kids today.

My husband divorced me when the kids were 7 and 4 and I worked a self employed business. i.e. I was there for the kids, not running around dating.

always attend sports and horse shows my daughter was in...

we took trips together by me saving all 5 dollar bills and I taught them to ski, had their friends at our home and kept the original home at the expense of me having time to find a good guy.

She was on her own, successful, and last year called to come home on a sunday night as Monday she was off from work..

3 hours later I came in from work to find my daughter blue, and I m ruined for life.

My youngest son is under the spell of his father always negating me and has moved in with me to save money for his future, with the condition he graduate. I thought..but..broke up with his nice girlfriend and is drinking.

He was jogging, swimming, took up adult lacrosse, and now I find he quit on all of it, is hiding the booze in coke bottles and smoking again.

So now, he has a free rent, healthy food, a good apartment set up and my daughter is dead and instead of helping me with anything, he is lazy, snippy, ignores me by hiding downstairs and going to the beat of his own drum. ex..I cook, he already got a call and ate up at daddys.

I cannot handle any more problems. I want a partner and a life.

I sold my home and have hit hard times, the economy has hit my business and I'm in a condo I own . I hate the environment of a senior community..I am a real young looking person and its depressing. I want to liquidate and just rent,.

if I move, I'm afraid he will die.

What should I do? Once he wanted rehab and then when he mentioned it to his father he was told just get a counselor.

His father became a looser and made life so hard for us, I feel guilty I that's why the kids became substance abusers. We lived in a good neighborhood with a nice place. Why?

I need help but we have no health insurance and I at least own my place.

I'd sell it and livein a tent to make life better.

My oldest son turned his back on me after the divorce and this ex husband is a creepy painter who I think has habits like pot smoking at 65 and the kids liked the environment without discipline when he had his visitation which was really done more by the grandmother who just passed at 103.

I'm shot...close to a nervous daughter is dead, I owe all her loans, my taxes and my son has a good place to drink...

the father lives with his girlfriend and keeps trying to get my son back into his control by telling him to move into his now deceased grandmothers home and pay a rent and take care of it when there is a divorced 63 yr old brother there who has mental maybe Asperger..never diagnosed.

it's shaky ground..any way my son turns. Except for me. I need help.


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