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My Dad is an Alcoholic but He Doesn't Seem to be Getting Help from the Proffessionals. Is Drug Rehab the Answer?

Hi, my dad is 59, an alcoholic and has drunk most nights since we were little. It never affected his work and he proceeded to excel at work, even achieving an MA in his spare time. My dad is very intelligent and this is what makes it hard to understand.

Around 1 year ago he started drinking heavily and this began interfering with his work as a university lecturer. He was caught drink driving and now has frequent visits from the medical centre (parole type thing), also he began seeing a local alcoholics group.

He is unfortunately on the brink of being diagnosed with parkinsons as his legs keep going from under him and is awaiting a neuro appointment. He was admitted to hospital this weekend for having a fit, alcohol induced we suspect.

To his own admission the people who check him are just box tickers and are not helping him, even telling him to get a drink when he shakes! It is heartbreaking to watch my dad do this to himself and even his wife has given up now with all the verbal abuse he gives her.

I want him to be admitted somewhere but how do I make it happen? Who do I need to speak to? I want them to see through the talk he gives them as he tells them what he thinks they want to hear. These are professionals and should know all the tricks in the book an alcoholic would try.

For an intelligent man he is not for drinking. Thanks for listening, I Just want him to be ok again and be my dad I know.


Many general medical practitioners doesn't really understand alcoholism and the nature of addiction, so it's not surprising your Dad isn't being given particularly helpful advice in hospital.

He needs to be seen and treated by specialists - those that intimately understand alcoholism, and whom you'll find at places like drug alcohol rehab programs. And finding such places isn't difficult - do a search on the internet or look in your local phone directory.

But something you need to understand is that your Dad has to be willing, and want to change. Because if he doesn't really want to stop drinking, not even going to rehab will help him.

Rehab isn't a magic cure to alcoholism - it merely equips and teaches the alcoholic how to build a new life, free of alcohol. Whether or not they use the tools taught at rehab is another matter entirely - and that's why the desire to want to quit drinking is so crucial.

So you can certainly encourage your Dad to get proper help for his drinking problem by getting help from professionals who understand the nature of addiction. But then its up to him to commit to changing and doing what it takes to beat his addiction - because he's ultimately the only one that can do it.

Hope that helps. Good Luck to you.

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