If your mom drinks too much, you are not alone, as one in eight adult women binge drink, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For women who were considered binge drinkers, drinking too much occurred about three times a month, and ladies downed roughly six drinks per session. There are some specific reasons why women and mothers may drink too much, and considering these can guide you on how best to help your mom.
Ease Her Stress
While it may be tempting to start hiding bottles from your mom, there are usually emotional reasons behind her drinking too much, which won't be addressed by preventing her from getting alcohol. A survey carried out by Caron Treatment Centers showed that stress and anxiety often contributed to moms drinking excessively. Find ways to lighten the load for your mom if she has got a lot to do. Doing the dishes or cleaning your room without being asked can help to relieve some of her stress.
Talk Calmly About Your Concerns
If your mom's drinking is upsetting you, you may have tried pleading with her or shouting at her to stop, but pressure from family members can actually worsen the problem. Instead of preaching or yelling, sit down and talk maturely to your mom about your concerns. Keep a calm tone, and give her specific examples of how her drinking is causing problems for you. Tell her that you love her and will support her to address the problem.
Spending quality time with your mom when she is sober is a good way of showing her how nice life can be without drinking. According to the "Community Reinforcement Approach," which is used in alcohol and drug treatment centers, rewarding problem drinkers when they drink less is an effective way of helping them cut down on their drinking. Boredom can also be a factor in mothers drinking to excess, so pick some fun things your mom and you can do together. Perhaps you could go shopping, visit the movies or make a family meal.
When to Seek More Help
Remember, while you can support your mom and make her life easier, it is not up to you to stop her from drinking. When a woman has a problem with drinking, only she can decide to quit. If what you are doing has little impact, your mom may need outside help. Therapy, counseling or attending Alcoholics Anonymous are all options for moms who drink too much. You may wish to go to a support group, such as Al-Anon or Alateen, to help you cope with your mom's problem.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Binge Drinking - A Serious, Under-Recognized Problem Among Women and Girls
- Caron Treatment Centers: Leading Nonprofit Reveals Top Five Reasons Why More Moms Turn to Alcohol and Drugs
- NCADD: Concerned About Someone?
- The Community Reinforcement Approach: William R. Miller et al.
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