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How To Get Help For My Dad’s Alcohol Or Drug Addiction

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

Medically reviewed by

Jennifer Cousineau MSCP, LPCI, NCC

March 1, 2019

Addiction is a challenge that doesn’t only affect the person suffering from addiction, but those around them too. A father’s addiction can wreak havoc on a family and hurt those closest to him. Helping a father get into treatment can help save not only his life, but the family as well.

If your father is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, you understand this concept. So, how can you get your dad the help he needs to get his life back on track?

In this blog article we will outline how addiction affects a family, what stance you can take on the addictive tendencies, and which options for help are available.

Understanding An Addict

When a person is trudging through the mucky shallows of addiction, he is often blinded to what is going on outside his world. In other words, your father is not able to fully comprehend how his problem is flooding those closest to him with pain, sorrow, and confusion.

This is certainly is not fair for any children, a significant other, or the close friends of the addict, but it is an honest reality. Even if he does know that he is hurting other people, the pull to drink or do a drug is too strong for him to implement permanent resolutions for healing relationships on his own.

If he has not yet had the strength to seek recovery for himself, then how is he to recognize the extent of destruction that his addiction has caused for others? It certainly isn’t that he wants to destroy his own life or relationships, but he is stuck in a terribly negative cycle.

Understanding the frame of mind and difficulties of an addict is not about excusing the person’s wrongful behavior. What is happening is not okay, but it is okay to extend sympathy and even love to someone going through addiction.

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Addiction: It’s A Family Matter

When a father is in the midst of addiction, it can cause him to be extremely neglectful. Time and energy that would normally be allocated for healthy care of oneself and for parenting is instead spent on getting high or drunk.

The children of a parent dealing with alcoholism or drug addiction might experience some of the following:

  • Having to make meals for themselves
  • Doing laundry and other household chores
  • Going without food
  • Living without heat or electricity
  • Stresses of homelessness
  • Lack of a safe environment and/or protection
  • Inadequate or nonexistent medical care
  • Fighting and other household trauma
  • Abuse: physical, verbal, emotional, and/or sexual
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Depression
  • Drug or alcohol problem of his or her own

You Cannot Control His Choices

Despite having to pick up slack in many areas (whether it be mentally, emotionally, financially, etc.) a child of an addicted father should begin to internalize one very important concept: the addiction is not your burden to carry.

Seeking out treatment for a father is admirable, but change must come from within the person with a drug or alcohol habit. The best thing that you can do is offer options for support. However, you can not control whether the opportunity for help will be accepted or not.

Rehab Facilities: General Options Outlined

With this said, there is hope: there are rehabilitation facilities that exist all over the United States. Each drug or alcohol rehab center has specific, proven approaches to how addiction will be treated. These options include:

  • Outpatient behavioral treatment
  • Inpatient hospitalization
  • Residential treatment

Most drug and alcohol rehab facilities offer:

  • Twenty-four-hour monitoring by medical professionals
  • Detoxification with medically-proven methods for comfortable withdrawal
  • Personal counseling
  • Family therapy
  • Education on drug or alcohol use
  • Alcohol and drug prevention education
  • Assistance transitioning into a healthy recovery


Getting treatment might be far from your father’s mind. Even if there is a partial willingness to enter rehab, a person struggling with addiction will probably have many questions and reservations.

This is why many families choose to stage an intervention. An intervention is a meeting in which family and friends present an opportunity for treatment to a person dealing with addiction.

The manner in which an intervention is approached and implemented is crucial to its effectiveness. Almost all interventions are led by a professional interventionist or licensed counselor who is trained in the treatment of addiction.

If you think an intervention will be necessary to convince your dad to get treatment, then contacting a professional might be a good option.

Taking A Stand For Your Family

It’s difficult to witness how family dynamics deteriorate due to addiction. Your father and your family deserve to reach a point of stability, but that requires the help of both professionals and a quality drug or alcohol addiction rehabilitation program. Simply contact us today to get expert assistance.

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