How Can I Convince My Dad Addicted to Alcohol?

Q:

My dad is over 65, in my memory ever since I was a child he has quite enjoyed drinking. Since retirement he started to drink more and more. Recently I’ve found him black-out twice after drinking. I’ve told him that he needs help, but he insists that he’s all fine. He doesn’t act fine at all. When I tried to hide the alcohol he yelled at me like a crazy lion. What shall I do?

A:

Repeated blacking-out and behaving compulsively to find alcohol are both indicators of alcohol addiction. However, people feel it hard to recognize or admit it.

This phenomenon is called personal exceptionalism, referring to an individual’s belief that he or she is unique. Some people think they’re not like everyone else and that an alcohol-related illness won’t affect them. In short, they’re in denial. Personal exceptionalism allows people to justify immoral actions or behaviors that they would otherwise condemn. Many other people tend to lie about their addiction to alcohol and think that someone else is to blame.

It can be difficult to convince loved ones that they’re in addiction and need help. You may consider contacting a local interventionist, who should be able to teach you effective ways to communicate with loved ones suffering from alcoholism.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.