How to Help an Alcoholic Child

Home » Blog » How to Help an Alcoholic Child

When you have a child, regardless of if you are the mother or the father, your whole entire world changes. You are now responsible for raising them. But when your child grows to be an adult, your role changes significantly. You are no longer the sole provider or have control within their life. If your adult child develops a problem with alcohol, the whole foundation of your being can feel like it has been rocked. Learning how to help an alcoholic child is critical in order to keep yourself and your child as well as possible during this difficult time.

What is Considered Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is a disease that is characterized by uncontrolled drinking and preoccupation with alcohol. In the United States, approximately 1 in 8 adults is an alcoholic. Alcohol is easily the most widely abused mind-altering substance in the country, as it is consumed by people of all ages. Alcohol use disorder falls into three categories:

  • Mild
  • Moderate 
  • Severe

Each category has various symptoms and side effects that will need treatment no matter the severity. However, if alcohol use is left untreated, it can spiral out of control. That is when your child is at great risk of having severe alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is dangerous because it often feels as though one cannot function without alcohol. 

Sometimes, warning signs can be noticed. Other times, it takes longer to see. So, it is important to understand what the signs of alcoholism are to know how to help an alcoholic child. 

Common signs of alcoholism include: 

  • Being unable to control alcohol consumption 
  • Craving alcohol when it is not present
  • Putting alcohol above personal responsibilities
  • Feeling the need to keep drinking more 
  • Spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol
  • Behaving differently after drinking 

Knowing How to Help an Alcoholic Child

It may be hard to know how to help an alcoholic child, especially when that child is your own. While it’s difficult to witness this damaging moment in their lives, it’s especially hard to understand the best ways to help. Knowing where to start and how to reach out and help them will benefit their overall health and quality of life for you and your adult child. 

If you want to talk with your child about alcoholism, talk when they are in a good mood. Usually, it is best to speak with them in the afternoon as they are likely to drink in the evening and be hungover in the morning. When you confront them, it is also important to do so compassionately. Let them talk their feelings through and avoid being judgmental towards them. 

Additionally, it is important to be patient with your child. If you feel as though they are pushing back, follow up with them another time. This will let them know how serious you are. Coming back to them at this moment will let them know that this is something they need help with. Being patient with them and coming back will let them think about it and hopefully want treatment. 

How to Help Your Alcoholic Son 

Ways to help your alcoholic son will take a lot of effort from you as a parent. But that’s what parents are here for. Even though your adult child is not under your care anymore, you still care for them and want to protect them from anything dangerous. 

Some ways to help your alcoholic son are:

  • Encouraging to cut toxic people out of their lives
  • Encouraging your son to attend support groups
  • Engaging in new sober activities 
  • Avoiding places that serve alcohol (bars, clubs, etc.).

How to Help Your Alcoholic Daughter 

Reaching out and helping your alcoholic daughter will benefit their well-being. Just as there are ways to help alcoholic sons, there are ways to help daughters too. When you notice any signs of alcoholism in your child, it will be difficult to change their way of life, but there are still ways you can help. 

Some ways to help your alcoholic daughter are:

  • Avoiding enabling environments
  • Suggesting minimizing social media use
  • Encouraging more one-on-one time with your child
  • Attending family therapy with her.

How to Support an Alcoholic Child 

One of the most important ways you can support your child is by being there for them. It is difficult to stay and offer support when alcoholics become stubborn, but this is where they need it the most. If you decide to leave them on their own, this will only make them drink more and more. Being there for them and knowing they have someone that wants to help them will greatly benefit your alcoholic child. 

Encourage them to get the services they need for treatment. However, it is good to know that you should not feel guilty if they refuse service. It may be hard to cope with, but trying again patiently will offer more of an outcome than forcing them to get it. When they have finished treatment, it is also essential to know that is not the end of it. 

There can be lingering temptations, so it’s good to be there for them and help them decrease any risk of relapse. You can even offer them a place to stay so they are closer to you for needed support. 

What Not To Do When Helping Your Alcoholic Child 

When your child has finished treatment, it does not help to threaten to kick them out of the house. That threat can make them spiral back into alcoholism and possibly develop depression and anxiety. Instead of making them fear you, you should let them know you are there for support. They should not be afraid to come to you for help and tell you things they are afraid to share with other people. 

Additionally, it is best to not get overly mad at your child or lack any kind of compassion for them. Understanding their situation and knowing how hard it is for them to stop will help. Alcoholism is not treated with one specific service. In fact, alcoholism is hard to overcome. Being angry and lashing out at them for not stopping will not help. 

This will actually hurt them as they will feel guilt and possibly drink again. Let them know that you are here to support them rather than judge and accuse them. Knowing how to help an alcoholic child will allow both of you to understand the need for treatment. 

Treatment Options for Alcoholism 

There are many treatment options for alcoholism that your child can benefit from. Here at Launch Centers, we know how to help an alcoholic child with the many treatments we offer. 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

One of the first forms of treatment someone with alcoholism goes through is detox. However, if the abuse is severe and symptoms persist, PHP is the best form to keep stable and sober. PHP requires the patient to stay at the facility and is provided with more of a monitored way of treatment. Other services are also provided in this program such as skill development, therapies, and more. 

Outpatient Rehab

When a patient has gone through detox and other treatments to help with their symptoms, they have a chance to go into outpatient rehab. Our outpatient program offers more flexibility with treatment if there are jobs, school, and other responsibilities that hinder you from staying at a facility. 


Launch Centers offers a plethora of therapies to help you and your alcoholic child. Our therapies range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Emotion Focused Therapy, Family Therapy, and much more. Addiction does not only affect the body, but also the mind. Therapy is there to help you every step of the way in improving your mental health. 

How to Help an Alcoholic Child

If you know that your child has developed signs of alcoholism, it is never too late for them to get treatment. Whether they have a moderate level of abuse or a more severe case, Launch Centers knows how to help an alcoholic child by providing the support and stability necessary to achieve sobriety. If you or someone you love is dealing with alcohol abuse disorder, contact us or visit our admissions page today.

About Our Founder

Jose Hernandez, for over a decade, has been involved in alcohol and addiction recovery helping people succeed in overcoming substance abuse and regaining control of their lives. He has experience in all aspects of the recovery world, from facilitating entry into treatment as an intervention specialist to counseling and case management at rehabilitation facilities. Jose has worked one-on-one with individuals as a sober companion and with groups as a resident counselor at addiction treatment centers and is certified by the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) to practice as a substance abuse counselor.

Through his professional experiences in crisis intervention, drug and alcohol detoxification, substance abuse counseling, and relapse prevention, Jose has developed a unique plan for case management that bridges the gap between a person’s painful past of substance abuse and a future of sobriety.

At Riviera Recovery, a sober living facility with multiple locations, clients continue their transition from the supportive environment of a treatment center to living well and happily in the “real” world. The program he designed at Riviera Recovery personalizes treatment plans that enable clients, including those with a single or dual-diagnosed mental health disorder, to embrace a satisfying life.

His greatest endeavor has been establishing LAUNCH, a Los Angeles-based life skills intensive outpatient program for young adults. LAUNCH works with recovering men and women to establish personal vocational and educational goals and develop the tools to successfully meet them. His mission is to ensure that no one stands alone in his or her recovery.

Meet Our Clinical Team

staff member drug alcohol treatment los angeles

Jess Beck, LCSW

Clinical Director

treatment team los angeles ca

Eric Chaghouri, MD


chloe kruskol los angeles rehab team

Chloe Kruskol, LCSW

Family Program Manager

Our Testimonials

Clients and Professionals Share Their Experience

  • HO

    Launch provided care on multiple levels. The highly skilled therapist coupled with the focus on purpose and long-term goals refocused my recovery from what previous treatment centers pushed onto me. I went from believing that I needed years of treatment to believing I needed years happiness and success. I began to focus on what I wanted to accomplish with my life. I came to realize all the things my addiction and mental illness had taken from me, and I used my future goals as a reason to never pick up again. Due to the passion that Launch instilled in me, I have pursued my future with excitement and dedication.

  • Nicole

    This place changed my life! I’ve had good laughs, good cries, shared a lot of heart to heart moments and grew a loving bond with everyone at Launch Centers. I will always be grateful!!! I really do miss it time to time. I highly recommend Launch Centers!

  • Joey

    The staff and clinicians are amazing and make you feel right at home from the second you walk in the door. I would absolutely recommend this place for a family member or close friend.

  • Ben

    This treatment facility has changed my life. I have always struggled with my mental health and this young adult program provided me with the necessary skills to launch to adulthood. I commend anyone who struggles with mental health or substance use (which was not me) to try this program out. It will change your life.

  • Conner

    Launch Centers Treatment was a major help to me. The therapists and staff genuinely cared about me and truly helped me to make a plan for my future. My personal therapists helped me to discover where some of my deeper issues came from. All of the staff worked tirelessly with me to talk through my issues, or just about life, and offered realistic solutions to my current problems and situation. All of the staff went above and beyond and advocated relentlessly for me. I am very grateful that I was able to have such a wonderful experience with Launch.

  • Adam

    In no uncertain terms Launch Centers changed my life. The staff at Launch are professional, knowledgable and relatable. They keep the format diverse and interesting which kept me engaged in the process. The greatest thing we can do in life is seek to improve ourselves. Launch gave me a skill set I consider to be invaluable in the journey of becoming the best version of myself. I would implore anybody considering Launch to step outside their comfort zone and go, you will not regret it.


Latest Blogs

Jun 26, 2024

10 Fun Facts About Pride Month

Pride Month is celebrated every June. It is a vibrant a

Apr 18, 2024

5 Great Jobs for Teens with Social Anxiety

Being a teenager is hard. When social anxiety is presen

Mental Health + Substance Abuse Treatment in Los Angeles
(877) 895-3231