Dear Annie: I am a mother of three children, but it’s the oldest my husband and I worry about.
When “John” went to college, he started drinking a lot. I asked him about it then, and he admitted that he might have a problem, but he did nothing about it. That was 10 years ago. He has had two DUIs since, and he drinks every day. I found out from his girlfriend that he actually gets into the shower with a beer in his hand.
We’ve tried talking with John, but he denies he has a problem. My daughter and her friends have gone out socially with John, and she says he is fun to be with and then suddenly a switch flips and he yells and curses. He once did it when he and my daughter were alone in the car, and she was so scared, she called the police.
John has had many girlfriends, but they all leave. He is good most of the time, and he’s a hard worker. His current girlfriend has tried different ways to get him to stop drinking, but he won’t do it. We are so afraid he is going to die from all the booze, or that he will get into an accident and kill himself or someone else. How can I get him to see that he is an alcoholic? Please help before we end up having to bury our son. – Two Scared Parents
Dear Parents: Your son will not stop drinking until he is ready, and you cannot make that happen. His alcoholism may also mask other problems, such as depression, and he might be willing to discuss those issues with a doctor. You also could try an intervention, but please do so only with the assistance of a professional.
That’s all you can do. The rest is up to your son.