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My 22 Year Old Daughter Is Addicted To Alcohol

by Julie

My 22 year old daughter graduated from college in May and moved back home. She has struggled with depression in the past and I discovered after a couple of months that she was drinking heavily almost every night.

She was working part time until September and so would go to bed late and sleep until 12 every day. I confronted her after I woke up and found her drunk at 2 am. She admitted she has struggled with drinking for the last couple years. She drinks at a minimum every 3 nights she says.

She is most often alone and will usually drink until she passes out. Typically an entire bottle of wine. She said she was going to stop and of course that did not work out for her, and we had another talk after a couple of drunken incidents.

At this point, she is working full time at a very good job and surprisingly enough the drinking has yet to effect her performance. She did go to AA once and therapy a couple of times. She has continued to keep drinking although she says only in moderation but last night she drank an entire bottle of wine after we all were in bed.

She says she likes to drink and isn't sure she wants to quit but would rather drink in moderation. She says she is sooo much better then when she was at school. I am worried as I see this as getting worse but don't know what I can do. I tend to be intrusive and look for hidden bottles etc. Obviously that doesn't help. Answer

Hi Julie, if your daughter doesn't want to quit drinking, the simple truth is that she won't. And while she may be able to get away with it now, if she continues drinking a bottle of wine a night, it will catch up with her soon enough and her life will begin to unravel.

Unfortunately reason or common sense won't work with her, and like all people who do have an alcohol problem, it requires that their life does begin to fall apart on one level or another before they're ready to acknowledge their alcoholism and do something about it. Sad, but true.

So while you may not be able to control your daughter and her drinking, you don't just want to be giving her a free pass either. So you need to start holding her accountable, and put some boundaries in place while she's still living at home.

People with a drinking problem don't do moderation very well, and that is simply your daughter's way of justifying it in her own mind because she thinks she can control it. And maybe she can, but it's unlikely because one of the biggest symptoms of alcoholism is loss of control. Alcoholics just can't moderate.

Your daughter will only address her drinking problem once she's ready and wants to. And that usually only happens when the consequences of her drinking start to have a serious impact on her life. Encourage her to get help, start putting boundaries in place, but realise that it's unlikely to get her to change if she isn't ready.

It's tough as a parent, but usually we have to learn the hard lessons that come from making poor choices ourselves, before we're ready to make any changes with our lives. All the Best

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