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If you are affected by someone else’s drinking, this page will help you find out more about alcoholism and the effects on the family. This can help you to feel better. You are not alone. Nacoa is here to help.

Alcoholism – when drinking becomes a problem

Understanding more about alcoholism can help make sense of some of the chaos that often exists when a parent is dependent on alcohol.

Not sure if your parent has a problem with alcohol?

You may find it helpful to look at our Other Person Diagnosis sheet.

Remember that Nacoa is here for everyone affected by someone else’s drinking. We focus on how it affects you, whether they’ve been diagnosed as having a problem or not.

Wondering if your own drinking is becoming a problem?

Many young people try alcohol and may sometimes get drunk with their friends. However, it can be worrying if you find yourself drinking as a way of coping, or if it’s getting you into trouble. Try our Self Diagnosis sheet and see what you think. You can talk to us about your concerns. If you have any worries about your drinking, talking about it sooner, rather than later, can help. You don’t have to wait until it gets ‘bad enough’ or you think you have a ‘drink problem’.

For more in-depth information including definitions; why people drink; how alcoholism can progress; neurochemistry; and genetics, please read our Alcoholism information sheet.

Alcoholism and the family

Alcohol problems do not only affect the person drinking, but also everyone around them, including friends, family and colleagues. It can be especially difficult for young people in the family.

See how a young boy called Toby is affected by his dad’s alcoholism in a short BBC film called "Toby's Dad". Watch Toby’s Dad on the BBC website.

Newsround have also made a special programme called "Living with Alcohol" which shows how children can be affected by their parents’ drinking. Watch Living with Alcohol on the Newsround website.

The devastating effects of alcoholism are also shown in this powerful music video for the single ‘Through the Eyes’ by Redzz. The song is based on a true story about Del, an alcoholic. It portrays the downward spiral in Del's life due to alcoholism and the knock-on effects on his family.

For more detailed information about how families adapt to alcoholism, please read our Alcohol – the Family Illness information sheet.

You are not alone

Remember Nacoa is here for you. If you want to talk about anything on this page or in these videos, please call or email Nacoa.

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