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Naltrexone VS Acamprosate: Which Drug to Combat Alcoholism and When?

When it comes to stopping drinking, many different circumstances exist. Maybe it’s time to quit drinking. Maybe you’re drinking too heavily too often and you want to cut it back to a normal level. Maybe you’ve been clean for some time but you’re having cravings for alcohol. These are three completely different circumstances, and each should be handled in its own way.

So where do you turn? Your most likely first step is to enter yourself into an alcohol abuse treatment program. During this process, it’s almost guaranteed that medication assisted treatment will be an option. Only three FDA-approved drugs exist to combat alcoholism: naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. However, in the medical field, much debate exists as to which drug to use and under what circumstance.

(Note: Disulfiram strictly causes the body to respond negatively to alcohol. Drinking with disulfiram in the system produces a multitude of hangover-like effects, and is only used as a physical deterrent. In different ways, both naltrexone and acamprosate are used to reduce craving, block the effects of drinking, and ultimately lead to abstinence or responsible drinking. Therefore, in this article, disulfiram is minimally focused on.)

Determining which Medication to Use

In 2013, UK-based Drug & Alcohol Findings (DAF) performed an analysis of forty years’ worth of scientific studies regarding the naltrexone/acamprosate debate. The results have just recently been published. What this means is the DAF research team reviewed countless studies on each drug, all performed between 1970 and 2009. The team sought to find “which is best in which circumstances and for which treatment goals.”

In this article, we will compare the alcohol-dependence medications naltrexone and acamprosate, in order to establish a knowledge base. Then we will review the findings of the DAF analysis, regarding which medication to use and under which circumstance. Finally, we will discuss the current use of both medications, some alternatives, and the best overall methods of alcohol treatment per circumstance.

What are Naltrexone and Acamprosate?

Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors in the brain. This causes the effects of opioids such as heroin or OxyContin to be prevented and/or reversed. Such drugs are called opioid antagonists. It turns out that opioid antagonists are excellent at decreasing alcohol consumption, as reinforced by an Oxford study. What’s more, naltrexone “is probably the most thoroughly scientifically established adjunct in the alcoholism treatment field,” as quoted from the study. Naltrexone is sold under the brand names of Revia, Depade, and Vivitrol.

Acamprosate essentially resets the chemical imbalances caused by problematic drinking. Among many other things, alcohol abuse leads to an overabundance of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical produced by the brain that reinforces rewarding behavior, such as eating, exercising, or having sex, by creating feelings of joy. With prolonged alcohol abuse, the brain becomes used to extra dopamine, and eventually the drinker cannot feel that joy without alcohol.

This is the short story of what prolonged alcohol abuse does to your brain, and only one aspect of it. Multiple chemical imbalances occur in the brain because of alcohol abuse, and acamprosate can “restore the normal activity of glutaminergic neurons, which become hyperexcited as a result of chronic alcohol exposure,” according to the National Library of Medicine. Now, that’s a mouthful for laymen like yours truly, but basically this means acamprosate restores the balance of a pre-alcohol-soaked brain.

So, while naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol and reduces the craving for it, acamprosate resets the brain’s balance and promotes abstinence from alcohol.

The Drug & Alcohol Findings Study

The question remains of which medication to use and when. The Drug & Alcohol Findings (DAF) study, linked again here, determined just that. First and foremost, the researchers tested each medication against a placebo. Both were found to work much better than the placebo, and therefore both are legitimate treatments for alcohol abuse. What they discovered next contradicted previous knowledge regarding naltrexone and acamprosate.

Previously, three major-scale studies had been performed to determine when to use which of the two drugs. The first study, in 2003, found little difference between them, giving naltrexone “a slight edge in delaying a return to drinking…,” as stated in the DAF study. The second study, in 2006, concluded both drugs to be virtually ineffective, finding “no significant effects of either medication compared with a placebo…” and the third study, also in ’06, determined naltrexone to be more effective when accompanied by psychosocial therapy, such as by a treatment facility. The opposite was found for acamprosate.

Obviously these conclusions are all very different. The DAF researchers believe they have once and for all determined a correct conclusion. According to their study, “naltrexone should be considered for patients who want less often to drink heavily, while acamprosate is better for those who seek abstinence.” Furthermore, both medications are more effective for those who are detoxified of alcohol.

Perhaps nothing revolutionary has been discovered here, due to the fact that both medications are fairly safe. However, the results of the DAF study help narrow down which path to take according to circumstances. The results will quicken the process of medication assisted treatment for alcohol abuse.

The Results for Naltrexone

Prior to the DAF study, it was commonly believed that naltrexone and acamprosate were nearly interchangeable. This is not so. Naltrexone benefits those seeking to cut back their current drinking, whether aiming for abstinence or not. Also believed before this study was that naltrexone can and even should be taken by patients who are still drinking. However, “required abstinence before treatment was associated with greater abstinence during treatment and greater reductions in heavy drinking.”

In further contrast to popular belief, the DAF study found that naltrexone is less effective as part of an alcohol abuse treatment program if abstinence is the main goal. In other words, if naltrexone is to be used as part of a treatment program, it is more effective when the program does not focus on abstaining from drinking.

The Results for Acamprosate

Before the DAF study, acamprosate was considered to be inferior to naltrexone. However, if a patient’s situation calls for complete abstinence as opposed to curbing drinking, acamprosate is preferred. Also, similarly to naltrexone, it is best if a patient is detoxified from alcohol when using acamprosate. “Both seem more effective when participants are detoxified and abstinent when treatment begins,” says the DAF study.

It was also noted that in the case of acamprosate, it’s possible “these requirements [of abstinence] filter out less committed and motivated drinkers, leaving a sample more likely to comply with treatment…” This is not the case with naltrexone, since it has for decades been given to patients who continue drinking alcohol regularly.

Regarding using acamprosate as part of an alcohol abuse treatment program, the results are the same as with naltrexone. No clear evidence was found to suggest that psychosocial therapy improves or worsens its effects. However, there is a slight lean toward psychosocial therapy actually weakening both medications’ effects. As stated in the DAF study, “…neither medication needs therapy to succeed,” adding that both medications may work better “when not overshadowed by effective psychosocial approaches.”

Current Uses (and their Necessary Updates)

The current status of naltrexone is best summarized by Dr. Stewart Leavitt of SAMHSA, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: “In brief, naltrexone is significantly beneficial in helping those patients who cannot remain abstinent to reduce their drinking behaviors, breaking the vicious, self-destructive cycle in alcoholics whereby one drink leads to another, and allowing more quality time for psychosocial therapy to be productive.”

However, the DAF study has revealed that naltrexone may be more effective when separated from therapy, and is very likely to be more effective when used by a detoxified patient.

The current status of acamprosate is not as straightforward. It is widely believed that more research must be done on the medication. However, acamprosate is being used. According to an article by Dr. Bankole Johnson published on UpToDate, acamprosate is able “to reduce alcohol consumption compared with placebo in patients with alcohol dependence.” The major difference is how acamprosate achieves this. Yes, the drug seems to rebalance the brain’s chemicals post-alcohol abuse, but as written in the Substance Abuse Treatment Advisory published by SAMHSA, “Although acamprosate’s mechanism of action has not been clearly established, it may work by reducing symptoms of postacute (protracted) withdrawal, such as insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.”

However, the DAF study shows that acamprosate “has a better record at promoting abstinence than naltrexone,” and is much less effective at reducing craving. As opposed to using acamprosate to reduce alcohol consumption, patients are better off using it once they are detoxified, in order to balance the brain. The medical community knows acamprosate does this, but still isn’t 100% clear how.

What this Suggests

As mentioned before, only three medications are FDA-approved for use in combating alcohol abuse. Aside from naltrexone and acamprosate, there is disulfiram, which if you remember is basically a physical deterrent from alcohol. If you have disulfiram in your system and you consume alcohol, a list of unpleasant things begins happening to you. Due to its blatant effects, disulfiram is a much simpler medication than naltrexone or acamprosate. The use of disulfiram is a common option, and is very different from the other two medications. Regarding naltrexone and acamprosate, what the DAF study truly uncovered was a paradox.

The study provided more specific uses than previously realized for the medications. Simultaneously, the study showed that “there is no evidence-based way to tell which drug will work best for an individual patient, or if any will help at all.” As a matter of fact, only “1 in 7 or 1 in 8 trial participants would not benefit more than when prescribed an inactive placebo.” This means there is good news and bad news. The good news is that there are now more effective ways to use naltrexone and acamprosate. The bad news is obvious. Utilizing medication assisted treatment may still be a bit of a guessing game for a while.

Just because the DAF study found psychosocial therapy ineffective when combined with medication does not mean the practice should be stopped. After all, in the words of the study itself, “Despite contrary findings… it remains possible that in terms of absolute improvements, supplementing medication with therapy will gain the best outcomes for a patient.”

The Best Choice for You

Frankly, what’s best for you is up to you. There are several options. Seeking entry into an addiction treatment facility is always your best bet. There, you have all of your options open to you. Medication assisted treatment or not, the help received through a recovery program is invaluable. That being said, what options are there regarding medication, and should you or shouldn’t you accompany them with therapy?

naltrexone-studies

The above chart is provided by Drug and Alcohol Findings as part of a series on Naltrexone. Although the most successful method is using both medications at once with no therapy, none of the methods fall below a 55% success rate. However it cannot be ignored that use of a placebo is the least successful method.

It boils down to a personal choice. Whichever method works best for you, stick to it. Some people might not require psychosocial or psychological therapies in order to sober up, but medication seems to help all recovering alcoholics.

The bottom line is that detoxification is an absolute requirement. Whether you aim for abstinence or responsible drinking, if you are abusing alcohol and want to stop, you must detox. If anything, the DAF study has reinforced this.

21st Century CURES Act Will Give $1 Billion to Fight Opioid Abuse

heroin-and-prescription-pill-addictionOn November 30th, the House of Representatives voted 392-26 in favor of a bill called the 21st Century Cures Act. Then five days later, the Senate voted 85-13 in favor. President Obama has already said he will sign it as soon as he can. Why such a rush? Because the Cures Act “could help unlock a cure for Alzheimer’s, end cancer as we know it, and help people seeking treatment for opioid addiction, said Obama in his most recent weekly address.

Mainly, the bill allows “the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] more discretion in the kinds of studies required to evaluate new devices and medicines for approval,” as written by NPR. This would speed up the process of FDA approval for certain drugs and medical devices. Also, the bill provides significant funding for the National Institutes of Health, as well as for researching cures for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other serious illnesses.

Most importantly for the addiction recovery community, the bill provides $1 billion in funding to combat heroin/prescription pill abuse. “For nearly a year I’ve been calling for this investment so hundreds of thousands of Americans can get the treatment they need,” Obama said in the address.

What this Means for Opioid Addiction Recovery

The addiction recovery aspect of the Cures Act is very much an extension of the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act, or CARA, the single largest effort toward addiction recovery in our nation’s history. However, Obama requested $1.1 billion in funding for CARA and only $181 million was approved. With the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act, the original amount requested by the president is provided.

Regarding the Cures Act, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota “called the bill’s broad approach and widespread support ‘significant’ in a chamber often unable to act because of partisan gridlock,” as reported by her state’s Star Tribune. Klobuchar was one of the proponents of CARA, and she understands the opioid epidemic better than most. “As a former prosecutor, I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by opioid abuse in communities across the country. In Minnesota alone, overdose deaths rose by 11 percent in just one year,” Klobuchar said.

With a billion dollars in funding, the Cures Act promises more education and prevention efforts, expanded Narcan availability, resources to treat incarcerated individuals with addiction, disposal sites for unused prescription pills, and programs aimed directly at the heroin epidemic.

Some Opposition

It’s no wonder that just like CARA, the Cures Act was passed with flying colors. However, some government officials have criticized the 21st Century Cares Act.

The main argument against the act says that it financially benefits the drug industry and the medical device industry, but nobody else. The Los Angeles Times called the act “a huge deregulatory giveaway to the pharmaceutical and medical device industry…” adding that “nothing in the measure would address the main problem the public sees with the drug industry – inordinately high prices.”

Yes, the Cures Act will speed up the process for drugs and devices to get FDA approval, but with addiction and other diseases killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, something needs to be done. Surely the FDA won’t approve medicines or devices they see unfit, and this author for one trusts science.

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is an enormous benefit for those battling opioid addiction, and with the Cures Act funding research with billions of dollars, some good must come of this. The advancements made possible by this act could turn out to save countless lives.

Six Alcohol Poisoning Deaths Daily in US

Forget about the thousands of deaths caused by drunken driving accidents. Forget about the discomfort and pain of delirium tremens, Alzheimer’s, cirrhosis, hepatitis, or fatty liver disease. Forget about the children born with fetal alcohol syndrome, which can be fatal in the worst cases. As terrible as these outcomes of alcohol abuse are, remember this: Alcohol is killing six Americans every day from alcohol poisoning, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) last year.

Also, somewhat strangely, the overwhelming majority of alcohol poisoning deaths are occurring in adults aged 35 to 64. Even stranger, 7 out of every 10 people who die this way are NON-ADDICTS. This goes to prove how dangerous the substance alcohol is, let alone the risky behavior it causes and its addictive nature.

We as a nation are combating an alcohol (and drug) epidemic. In this article, the CDC report is summarized, as well as what alcohol poisoning actually is and how it can happen to anyone. The recent Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, the first of its kind, is a major step along the way to reducing, eliminating, and eventually preventing unsafe alcohol (and drug) abuse.

The Facts

The CDC found there to be 2,200 alcohol poisoning deaths every year in the US, which averages out to 6.02 people per day. An overwhelming 75% of these deaths involve 35 to 64 year old adults. Those between 45 and 54 showed the highest alcohol poisoning death rate. This came as a shock to the researchers.

Ileana Arias, principal deputy director of the CDC, told US News in their article on the findings, “The majority of these deaths are not among college students, whom we typically associate with binge drinking. We were surprised.”  This goes to show that American adults are not only dealing with severe alcohol issues, they are not getting the help they need.

“Obviously we still have serious alcohol addictions around people in middle age that are unaddressed or untreated,” commented University of Pittsburgh professor of psychiatry Dr. Antoine Douaihy to US News. Obviously he’s right. Not only is that so, but due to recent changes in how alcohol poisoning deaths are calculated, government health officials believe the death rate to be higher than 6 a day.

In an effort to increase the overall health of Americans, the government issued Dietary Guidelines in 2010. According to the section regarding alcohol, “low risk” drinking is defined as “no more than 14 drinks a week for men and 7 drinks a week for women with no more than 4 drinks on any given day for men and 3 drinks a day for women.” Essentially, this is two drink daily for males and one drink daily for females.

Why Adults?

Apparently ignoring the guidelines, over 38 million American adults binge drink four times a month. During these binges, an average of eight drinks is consumed. In contrast, underage binge drinking (and drinking in general) is at its lowest since 1975, as found by the National Institutes of Health. Right now, fewer 15-24 year olds die from alcohol poisoning than those over 65. The consensus is that a combination of anti-alcohol efforts and programs, peer disapproval of alcohol, and difficulty to acquire all contribute to the decline in underage drinking. This graph from the CDC shows how alcohol use is lowest among schoolchildren and highest among the middle-aged:

alcohol-poisoning-deaths

David Jernigan directs the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. According to Jernigan, another reason adults are three times more likely to die from alcohol poisoning is actually pretty simple. Younger people can tolerate higher amounts of alcohol, as they haven’t lived long enough to develop long-term physical issues. Plus they stay awake longer. The fact that alcohol poisoning deaths are lowest among young adults and highest among middle-aged adults proves this.

Common sense tells us there is a wide age range regarding drunk driving. A sixteen year old is just as likely as a 60 year old to crash a vehicle if intoxicated. There is also a wide age range regarding alcoholism, research shows. Someone can become alcohol-dependent at virtually any age. So, the fact that alcohol poisoning occurs mainly in middle-aged adults is a concern.

“When people think about alcohol, they tend to think about two problems: addiction and drinking and driving. This [the CDC report] shows there is another big problem – you can die from alcohol itself,” said Jernigan. So what exactly is alcohol poisoning?

Poisoned by Booze

Alcohol poisoning is medically defined as “a condition in which a toxic amount of alcohol has been consumed, usually in a short period of time. The affected individual may become extremely disoriented, unresponsive, or unconscious, with shallow breathing.” However, there truly is no clear-cut definition of alcohol poisoning, because alcohol is a poison.

Online news source Gizmodo interviewed an emergency room doctor about alcohol poisoning. (Because the doctor wished to remain anonymous, she is referred to in the article as Doctor L.) She explained how alcohol poisoning actually occurs with every single drink. The doctor said, “‘Alcohol poisoning’ is a layman’s term. Alcohol intoxication is a spectrum and there isn’t a specific threshold that one crosses and suddenly becomes poisoned.”

Every case is individual. All people respond to alcohol uniquely, and therefore no terms exist to define levels of alcohol poisoning. Obviously though, some cases are worse than others. Doctor L explained what an emergency room staff would do for a mild case of alcohol poisoning, and then for a severe case.

In a Mild Case

The doctor explained how mild alcohol poisoning is accompanied by dehydration, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure in some cases. Therefore, other than hooking an IV up to the patient, mostly the medical staff simply observes. “Often it is just a matter of watching the patient until he/she recovers. Intravenous fluids are often administered to help hydrate the patient…” said Doctor L. Victims of alcohol poisoning suffer from severe dehydration because alcohol is a diuretic, a substance which increases urination. Also, vomiting rids the body of water, furthering this dehydration.

A mild case of alcohol poisoning is no laughing matter. The term ‘mild’ is only being used here in comparison to a severe case, which can be fatal. The difference between a mild case and a severe case can literally be a drink or two. This is because someone can continue to drink even once diagnosable alcohol poisoning has set in.

In a Severe Case

Again, there are no clear levels of alcohol poisoning. However, with more severe cases of alcohol poisoning, victims are usually unconscious, unresponsive, vomiting, or any combination of the three. In severe cases, Doctor L said to Gizmodo, “the goal is to maintain adequate breathing and circulation until the body (mainly the liver) metabolizes the alcohol. It (alcohol) depresses the respiratory drive and may result in inadequate oxygen levels and/or excess carbon dioxide levels.” Patients are usually oxygenated.

Worse yet, alcohol causes failure of the gag reflex, greatly increasing the likelihood of choking to death on vomit. Preventing this used to be done by stomach pumping, but it has since been realized that pumping a stomach is more harmful than helpful. Nowadays, “a different, smaller tube is inserted through the mouth or nose, then threaded through the esophagus and into the stomach. The tube is placed on suction, which decompresses the stomach and greatly reduces the risk of vomiting,” said the doctor.

In any case, alcohol poisoning can be life-threatening. It is altogether dangerous, and a medical emergency in every case. A study performed two years ago by the CDC and multiple state health departments revealed that between 2006 and 2010, “9.8% of all deaths in the United States… were attributable to excessive drinking, and 69% of all AAD [alcohol-attributable deaths] involved working-age adults.” Furthermore, the study showed that in just those five years, a total of 2,560,290 years of life were taken away by excessive alcohol use. This is measured in YPLL, or years of potential life lost.

Not only is alcohol killing us, it’s giving us shorter lives.

What We’re Doing About It

In the recent CDC report regarding alcohol poisoning, (linked again here), three suggestions are given to both individual states and communities. Summarized, they are:

  1. Support alcohol awareness and prevention programs. The stronger the alcohol policy, the less binge drinking per state.
  2. Partner with law enforcement, medical personnel, health care providers, the addiction recovery community, etc. to help reduce excessive drinking
  3. “Monitor the role of alcohol in injuries and deaths.”

While practicing safe drinking is a strong recommendation, it’s rather apparent that Americans do not drink safely. Therefore, in addition to alcohol awareness and education, there needs to be a focus on treating those who already have alcohol issues.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 was enacted in order to increase the number of Americans with health insurance, and to keep the insurance at a reasonable cost. The act included a list of ten “essential health benefits.” In a beautiful stroke of luck for addicts seeking help, substance abuse disorders are one of them. Since January 1, 2014, “all health insurance sold on Health Insurance Exchanges or provided by Medicaid to certain newly eligible adults… must include services for substance use disorders,” according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

While this was an essential step to be taken, the year 2014 had the most fatal drug and alcohol overdoses ever recorded in American history. In a well thought out response to this, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy made history recently by releasing the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health (linked again here). In it, Murthy explains how two major things need to happen. The public image of addicts needs to shift from one of negativity to one of care and concern. Also, the healthcare system needs to incorporate drug and alcohol screening into routine medical visits for all patients.

The Surgeon General’s Report (and why we should all be screened)

surgeon-general-murthyMurthy believes the first step is for addicts to be treated like people with a disease, as opposed to like a criminal or an outcast. After all, addiction is indeed a disease of the brain. Once the societal outlook on addiction is similar to the outlook on any other disease, Murthy believes the next step is to integrate screening for substance abuse disorders into all doctor visits. Consider this section taken from the report itself, as there is simply no better way to phrase the screening argument:

Historically, our society has treated addiction and misuse of alcohol and drugs as symptoms of moral weakness or as a willful rejection of societal norms, and these problems have been addressed primarily through the criminal justice system. Our health care system has not given the same level of attention to substance use disorders as it has to other health concerns that affect similar numbers of people.

It is known that most people with substance use disorders do not seek treatment on their own, many because they do not believe they need it or they are not ready for it, and others because they are not aware that treatment exists or how to access it. But individuals with substance use disorders often do access the health care system for other reasons, including acute health problems like illness, injury, or overdose, as well as chronic health conditions such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, or depression. Thus, screening for substance misuse and substance use disorders in diverse health care settings is the first step to identifying substance use problems and engaging patients in the appropriate level of care.”

In Conclusion

89% of drug/alcohol addicts receive zero treatment in their lives. The reasons for this are many, but seemingly screening for addiction routinely, in combination with addiction treatment being covered by insurance, would end the addiction crisis in America. One can only hope that these changes are made, and that they are effective.

Children of Alcoholics: The Effects & Coping with the Stress

Being the children of alcoholics, (a COA), can be extremely stressful. Your parent(s) may get angry a lot, may threaten you, may forget lots of things, and may even abuse you. The important thing to know is that there is help, and that you are not alone. We will discuss some of the possible effects of being the child of an alcoholic, as well as some methods for coping with the stress it brings.

Approximately 18.25 million people are children of alcoholics, and these children are 4 times as likely to become addicted than children of non-addicts. Every second, two babies are born to addicted parents. One last fact: 43% of adults have been exposed to alcoholism in their lives. Alcoholism is a pervasive disease and understanding what having alcoholic parents means and how to deal with it is crucial.

Effects of Being Children of Alcoholics

Children of alcoholics are at higher risk than others for emotional issues. Obviously everyone will have his or her own personal experience, but there are some common effects of being a COA. Shame is commonly felt, especially if the child is hiding the parental alcoholism. The child may feel embarrassed of the parents, and this may cause the child to lie or even develop a story to explain it. Guilt is also commonly felt by children of alcoholics, but it is very important to realize and remember that it is not the child’s fault, regardless of what may be said.

Other effects of having alcoholic parents include feeling angry, feeling depressed, falling behind on schoolwork, feeling stressed, and feeling alone/reclusive. These emotions are unhealthy but justified. If you are the children of alcoholics and you feel any of these things, do not blame yourself. You are not meant to carry this on your own.

How to Deal with Alcoholic Parents

If possible, talk to your parents. Let them know how you’re feeling. An alcoholic trapped in the depths of the addiction may not even realize what they’re doing to their loved ones. Maybe even encourage them to not drink or to drink less. If it’s not possible to talk to them, try talking to a friend or to a counselor. Most schools offer counseling, and there are also plenty of support groups available. Al-Anon is an organization that helps the family and friends of alcoholics “find understanding and support” through meetings. A branch of Al-Anon known as Alateen is designed specifically for children of alcoholics.

Sometimes alcoholic parents can be so harsh that more than talking is required. If you are being abused, get out. Call 911 or someone you know and love that can help you. Even threats of abuse are taken very seriously. That being said, if talking simply won’t work, and your parents are not a threat to you, get out of the house. From moving in with a different relative to joining a club, the less time you spend at home right now, the better.

It’s up to the parent.

The bottom line is that it’s on the parent or parents to curb their drinking and get the help they need. You can talk with them, cope with them, beg them and cry, but until they want to stop drinking, they won’t. Talk to them. Talk to friends and other family. Talk to counselors. Even host an intervention, if need be. The goal is to get your parents to understand what their alcoholism is doing to the family.

For young children of alcoholics, click here for a do-and-don’t list regarding coping. For some helpful tips on dealing with alcoholic parents, click here.

 

Blog Coming Soon!

Thank you for all the support over the last few months. We are working on getting our writing team together, and will be releasing the blog in the near future. Please continue to help support us as we strive to provide the best information possible for those seeking alcohol addiciton, prevention and awareness information. – AlcoholAwareness.org Team