Dear Doctors, My parents are suffering from alcohol addiction and alcohol abuse. I am sure this is how it has been for the last 25 years or more, considering I'm 25. Everytime my parents consume alcohol, I feel they are more open to disclose a bothering problem about each other (even something small and ridiculous to fight over) and fighting like dogs. There has been cases where the neighbour had to come down due to the extreme noise created. As a child, I have always hated them for this. But with age, I have tried explaining to them how it affects us and the family and how they should stop drinking. But they only take it personally and say I am not perfect either and I do not have the right to preach them. Today I have reached a point where I do not want to live with them, just to escape this drama everyday and night. But my brother has to live through this everyday. I know my parents need professional help to come out of the addiction. But I do not know where to start. Please help
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You are in Bengaluru..right? Where else do es one get better psychiatric and deaddiction services. Visit NIMHANS deaddiction dept and take guidance on how to start. If parents are not ready to visit the doctor there may be other methods that they might suggest..
I understand that your situation is very tough. Having one person with an addiction problem in a family can be overwhelming, i can imagine what it would be like to have both of your parents in this situation. Deaddiction usually works best when the patients have a certain degree of motivation to quit. Along with the treatment for alcohol addiction, i also think that they would need couple therapy or family therapy for the relationship problems that they clearly have. As they appear to be unwilling to go to a mental health professional, you will probably have to try something unorthodox. I would suggest you to meet a psychiatrist in your vacinity who is comfortable with making home visits. Discuss your problems with such a professional and see if he/she can initiate the treatment by coming to your home.
Alcohol dependence is associated with significant physical, mental and social problems.
Physically, there can be liver failure, jaundice, vomiting of blood, passing blood in stools, stomach ulcers, damage to nerves of the body, swelling of legs, fluid collection in abdomen, and many more.
Mentally, there is irreversible brain damage, worsening of anxiety or depression, triggering of psychosis and mood disorders, dementia, etc.
From a social point of view, there may be isolation from neighbors or family, increased abusive behavior to children or spouses, legal problems, accidents, etc.
You seem to be suffering considerably and there has been impact on your younger brother too. First try to talk to them and tell them how you feel. In case that does not work, ask a family member or family friend who are willing to help you, to talk to your parents. Consult a psychiatrist with experience in deaddiction for further treatment. Alternatively, have them undergo a health check up with blood work. If the liver function tests are deranged, they can be used as an encouragement for them to get into deaddiction. In the meanwhile, also consult a psychiatrist or counselor to help you and your brother deal with this as it can be quite stressful.
Do not use any products advertised to 'cure alcoholism without patient's knowledge.' Do not resort to any quack treatments which may be dangerous. If you feel suicidal or hopeless, speak to a psychiatrist immediately.
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