Living with an alcohol dependent adult

Lots of adults drink alcohol, but sometimes an adult’s drinking can make things difficult at home. It can create extra stress and worry. We want you to know it's not your fault, you can't stop your parent or carer's behaviour, and there are people who understand and can help.

supporting children with alcohol dependent parents

substance misuse video

Acknowledging your feelings

Young people we have worked with told us that living with someone who drinks alcohol or uses drugs can be difficult and can affect how they think and feel.

Acknowledging how you feel is important. We have developed a series of feelings worksheets to help you think about what is happening at home, explore how it makes you think and feel and to consider ways to feel better.

You can work through them on your own or with a supportive adult you trust.

Looking after your well-being

Being aware of how your parent or carer's drinking affects you is very important. But many young people are afraid to speak out or show any emotion because of how others might react.

It is important not to hide your feelings or pretend everything is fine. You need to look after yourself and these well-being information sheets may help you find ways to do that.

You can work through them on your own or with a supportive friend or adult you trust. 

Parental substance use helplines

Here are details of organisations that can provide you with further information and support:

  • Nacoa: 0800 358 3456
    The National Association for Children of Alcoholics provides information, advice and support for everyone affected by a parent’s drinking. Nacoa also runs online message boards which enable you to share your experiences with others.
  • Alateen: 020 7593 2070
    Alateen is for teenage relatives and friends of alcoholics. Contact them to see if there are local meetings you can go to and meet other young people in a similar situation.
  • Childline0800 1111
    You can talk to a counsellor at Childline 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can send Childline an email or post on the message boards.