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How to Convince an Alcoholic Parent to Go to Rehab

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how to convince an alcoholic parent to go to rehab

If you are the child of an alcoholic parent, you probably understand how emotional and devastating it can be to watch your mother, father, or caregiver struggle with addiction. When a parent develops alcoholism, it is almost impossible for them to be loving, effective parents. Their children suffer the consequences of their addiction, too. Research shows that children raised by an alcoholic parent are at increased risk of sexual and physical abuse, have more behavioral problems and poor performance in school, suffer from lower self-esteem, and are more likely to experiment with drugs and alcohol when they are young.[1]

No one chooses to develop alcoholism. Effective addiction treatment can give people the support and skills they need to overcome their addiction. They can learn how to live a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle. It can give them a second chance at being the parent they would want to be.

If you or your parent need treatment for alcoholism or substance abuse, reach out to the staff at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment today. We offer a range of high-quality, flexible programs that can help you and your family heal from addiction.

Signs Your Alcoholic Parent Requires Rehab

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that about 1 in 8 children in the United States lives in a household with a parent who struggles with substance use disorder.[2] It is important for children–whether they live at home with their alcoholic parent or not–to be aware of the signs of alcoholism.

Some signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Drinking more than planned
  • Needing to drink more to get the same effect
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if they do not drink
  • Hiding or lying about their drinking
  • Continuing to drink despite negative consequences
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as driving under the influence or having unsafe sex
  • Falling behind at work, in school, or responsibilities at home
    • Financial or legal problems related to alcohol abuse

Children can play an important role in helping their alcoholic parents get the help they need to heal from addiction if they are aware there is a problem.

How to Convince a Parent to Go to Alcohol Rehab

Regardless of whether or not you live with your alcoholic parent, you are likely to be affected by their behavior and want them to get the help they need to overcome their addiction. It can be difficult to convince a parent to go to rehab. Sometimes, people may be in denial about their problematic drinking for a long time. Parents may also be uncomfortable listening to their child’s concerns.

There are some steps you can take to help convince your parent to go to rehab. Following these steps can help you get through to your parent–even if they may not be ready to hear your message.

  1. Write: Spend some time writing about the effect your parent’s addiction has had on you. Writing can help you identify and clarify your feelings and expectations.
  2. Stage an intervention: Consider hiring a trained interventionist to help you and other loved ones plan an effective intervention. A carefully-planned intervention can convince a parent to go to alcohol rehab.
  3. Include other loved ones: Don’t carry this burden alone. Connect with other friends and family members who can support you and help you find treatment options for your parent.
  4. Get professional support: A professional interventionist or an addiction counselor can advise you about what steps to take to convince a parent to go to rehab.

Before talking to your parent about their addiction, take some time to learn about addiction and recovery. Find local treatment facilities that meet their needs so that all your parent has to do is agree to get treatment.

Supporting an Alcoholic Parent

Supporting an alcoholic parent can be financially, emotionally, and physically draining. It is important to take good care of yourself. Join a support group for children of alcoholics or go to individual counseling. Counseling can help you set good boundaries with your alcoholic parent while you help them get into rehab. It can also help you identify any enabling behaviors you may be engaging in and learn how to stop doing them.

Children aren’t supposed to know how to support their parents. This kind of role reversal can be stressful or emotionally draining. Get the help you need to take care of yourself while supporting your parent. With the right treatment, your parent can learn how to be the kind of parent they want to be.

convince an alcoholic parent to go to rehab

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Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment is a leader in the addiction treatment field, with proven success in facilitating long-term recovery. Our team of top clinical & medical experts specializes in treating addiction coupled with mental illness, ensuring that each person receives individualized care. Call us – we’re available 24/day, 7 days/week.

(781) 622-9190

Find Help for Yourself or an Addicted Loved One Today

If your or someone you love requires alcohol rehab, do not wait another day for the help you need. With the right kind of treatment and support, anyone can recover from alcoholism. At Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we offer a range of life-changing programs designed to help people heal from alcohol addiction and live a healthy lifestyle. Whether you or a family member struggle with alcoholism, it can feel lonely. You are not alone. Reach out to the caring staff at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment to hear about how we can help you and your family heal. Contact us today to speak with one of our admissions counselors about how to get started.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1455072518814308
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3223/ShortReport-3223.html
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Addiction treatment specialist

Medically Reviewed By

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC Clinical Director
Learn about Inessa Maloney

Inessa Maloney, MS, LMHC has been dedicated to the mental health and substance abuse field for a decade, providing her expertise to guarantee quality and accuracy.

  • Specializes in outpatient services with a focus on substance abuse
  • Expertise in reality-based therapy, CBT/DBT, and motivational interviewing
  • Holds a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling
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