Parents of teen alcoholics and addicts – Episode 254

How can you detach from your teen alcoholic? What is your real responsibility when your child is an addict? How can Al-Anon help?

Mary and Ellen talk about their experiences as parents of teenage alcoholics and addicts. They share what they learned, and how they navigated their difficulties, fears, and hopes.

Our discussion was grounded in these questions:

  • When/how did you become aware of your child’s behavior?
  • Were you in Al-Anon at that point?
  • How long did you struggle before you found Al-Anon?
  • When were you able to admit that your child was an alcoholic or addict? What brought you to that understanding?
  • What were some of the program tools and principles you used first?
  • What were the hardest tools to apply?
  • Did you feel that, as a parent, you needed to help or fix your child?
  • What did you do to help/fix?
  • Did you feel responsible for their behavior?
  • What is the one thing you would say to a parent who is new to Al-Anon?


We read from or talked about this Al-Anon literature:

Courage to Change, February 17, “faith takes practice”.

How Al-Anon Works, p. 30, “don't pick up the rope”.

From Survival to Recovery, p. 267-268, the “Al-Anon promises”.

Intimacy in Alcoholic Relationships, a new book from Al-Anon in which members share their challenges with all aspects of intimacy–physical, emotional and spiritual–in all relationships affected by the family illness of alcoholism.

Please call us at 734-707-8795 or email with your questions or experience, strength and hope. Or just leave a comment right here.

Music from the show

The Original Five Blind Boys of Mississippi: Leave you in the Hands of the Lord

Dave Brubeck: Take Five

The Beatles: Let it Be




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