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my parents drinking and smoking

hello sam . i was wondering if you would be able to give me some advice . my dad is ALWAYS drinking and i think it may be beacause my parents are devorsed and i never get to spend time with him. my mum smokes alot and her boyfreind has made her be an alcoholic. sometimes i worry how much time i will have left with them . can you please give me some advice on how to stop them ? thankyou .
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your letter. I can hear that your parents' drinking has had a really big impact on you and you want to see some changes to improve things in your family. I can hear that you are worried about the impact their drinking and smoking is having on their health. It is often difficult for people to make changes by themselves so it might be that you need some help to encourage your parents to stop. You might find it useful to read this information on for people affected by someone else's drinking

Sometimes when people drink a lot, they may not realise the effect it is having on their family. If you feel your parents are open to listening you could try talking to them to let them know how you feel about your relationship with them and the impact drinking may have on their long-term health.

You and your parents might find it useful to take a look at Drinkaware for more information about how much is healthy to drink and the effects of drinking too much. You might want to talk to your mum and dad about the help they can get if they felt able. The first step could be to talk to their doctor who can tell them about local services which could help your parents stop drinking. If you do decide to talk to your parents, it is important to pick a time when they are not drunk already and have time to talk things through with you.

I’ve also found you an organisation that supports children and young people in situations like what you have described. They are called the National Association for Children Of Alcoholics (NACOA). I think it may be worth you checking it out, even if you just read some of the information and see how it fits with you.

When we are very worried about someone it can be helpful to have support ourselves. You feel that the cause of the drinking and smoking is the divorce and I feel it’s really important that you have a safe space to talk about that. So if you feel you’d like to talk things through you are welcome to come and talk to a Childline counsellor either on a 1-2-1 online chat, by email or by calling 0800 1111.

If your parents do get support for their drinking, it may take time for things to improve or change. ChildLine is there to support you through this time, too.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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