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my daughter is an alcoholic

Community Member

my 29 year old daughter is an alcoholic. She moved back home 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer because she was having trouble with one of her flatmates who was a drug addict that had been in jail. She was belting the bourbon down pretty hard and it is slowly getting worse. She doesn't qualify for the HAPS program because she is still working. She takes days off work every week because she is too hungover to work. Today she drank nearly a litre of bourbon and talked about suicide because she sees no future for herself. I can't sleep because I am so worried about her. Now I am going to be tested for secondary cancers early next year because of our family history. This is the 3rd generation of alcoholics I have to deal with. My father was and also my husband still is. Because of the booze culture in my family I was in my 40's before I realised not all men were drunks. I really have no idea where to go from here

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion


thanks for sharing your story.

Ihope you have support both physical and emotional.

Some people find Alanon groups helpful.

Do you have family members who can help you. 
can you set boundaries with your daughter. When she is sober does she help you..?

Does she feel she has a problem.


Ilived with a partner for ten years who never admitted he a drinking problem He was a critical drunk.I thought  I could  love him to sobriety. I was very rude d down an unwell..

I am listening to you and you are not alone.

Community Member

Hello Scat

Can I suggest your daughter get to a 12 step program meeting. The only requirement is for someone to have he desire to stop drinking. That's it. No catch - They are free and you are welcome to observe as well. 

Attending these meetings has saved my life! I have been sober for the last 5 years


Community Member

We are trying to get her into a detox program. The problem is she lies about how much she drinks and has been rejected for HABS. We are going to contact an in house detox program which is run by the salvos. I can't help her at home because I don't have the skills or the energy to cope. All of this has worn me out over the years. She knows she has a problem but won't take steps to help herself (just like her father) which is why I need to get her out of the house and into a program. She will not attend group meetings. If she can't speak the truth in a one on one session then she defiantly won't open up in a group. I had to call her counselor and fill her in on what is really going on at home. My daughter has never talked about her threats to commit suicide or the days she takes off work. So now I am getting more help from the counselor because she is more aware of what is going on.

People ask me why I didn't leave my husband and it is because I never wanted to end up living in my car with 2 kids. Plus this will sound strange, but when my parents split up over alcohol I was actually devasted. I moved home 11 times in 9 years 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi scat


First I just want to say that I hope the news is good news when it comes to the tests you face. You deserve good news, especially given all you've faced and managed over the years.


As a mum who's an ex drinker (largely the days before I had kids), I've spoken to my 18yo son and 21yo daughter on a number of occasions about drinking. The conversations have been open ones where I've spoken to them based on my own experience. As I've said to them 'One of the most important things about drinking involves knowing why you drink'. Personally, I was an emotional drinker, using alcohol as an emotional regulator. It was also one of the ways I managed depression or should I say mismanaged it. I drank to feel happy, drank to manage social anxiety, drank to feel a sense of peace, drank to feel more energetic, drank to change my inner dialogue, drank to feel carefree and on and on it goes. As I've said to my kids 'Alcohol is mind altering, so always be aware of how and why you're altering your mind'. Not a problem with altering the mind on occasion but if it's a regular thing, you gotta ask why there's the need to alter it regularly. While my son has no interest in drinking at all, my daughter typically drinks on the odd occasion in order to consciously gain a particular feeling (whether it involves some relief from social anxiety or just because she loves the carefree feeling). My husband on the other hand is what I suppose you'd call a functional alcoholic. While he's never missed a day of work in his life, he's addicted to drinking at least six cans of beer Mon-Fri and more on the weekends. His Dad was the same so it was seen as a 'normal' everyday part of life, growing up. At the end of the day, relying on a mind altering substance everyday is technically not healthy or normal. Having lived on both sides of the fence, this is a personal perspective I can offer my kids.


While alcohol simply has an addictive nature, I think it also tends to serve people in a lot of different and complex ways. I suppose the question could be in this case 'How does it serve your daughter?'. Does she know why she drinks? I found the added thing about relying on alcohol is...it gets in the way of skill development. While I was drinking I gained no social skills for managing social anxiety, I gained no skills when it came to having to manage what was depressing, I gained no skills in better understanding myself from an emotional perspective etc etc. Not drinking forces us to gain skills, which can turn out to be a massive challenge in a number of ways. While I manage periods in depression far more consciously now, not drinking means having gained a lot of self understanding and skills when it comes to managing my nature. For a highly sensitive person, drinking tends to switch off the ability to sense (what's legitimately depressing, anxiety inducing, triggering, deeply challenging etc).



Scat I hope you can get help for your daughter but I see  how difficult it for her to seek help. It can seem so hard and scary to take the first step it is good she realises she had a problem. I sm glad you are getting support.