I think my parent drinks too much

Parents drinking too much can be scary, and can put a lot of pressure on children. If you think your parent or carer is drinking too much, there's help available for you that can make life better.

Is my parent or carer drinking too much?

Your parent or carer may be drinking too much if:

  • They are unable to control the amount they drink
  • Their behaviour changes because of their drinking
  • Their drinking is causing problems in everyday family life

If your parent or carer drinks too much it's important for you to know that you don't have to cope alone: help and support are available.

Seeing your parent or parents drunk can be a scary thing, especially if they become short-tempered or emotional. If your parent, or carer, or grandparent is drinking too much, it can have a direct impact on you: it might make you feel worried, scared, embarrassed or confused.

Remember that you cannot control someone else's drinking - they have their own reasons for drinking which ultimately have nothing to do with you. You are not the reason they drink, and it is up to your parent to take charge of their own drinking behaviour and seek some professional support.

What to do if you need help

If you are worried about your parent's or carer's drinking, the first step is to talk to someone you trust. This could be a friend, an older sibling or a teacher.

There are also organisations that offer free and confidential advice and support to children like the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and Childline.

The National Association for Children of Alcoholics have lots of information for children (and their parents) on their website. Here are some of the questions that children often ask about alcohol and the effects on them and their family. For more information, visit nacoa.org.uk or call 0800 358 3456.

You can reach Childline on 0800 1111 for confidential advice and support. Or for more information visit their website.