Ask Sam letter


To Sam


When I was younger it didn't even used to bother me. I wish I could go back to not caring and not understanding because now it just sort of consumes me. I don't even know if my Dad really counts as an alcoholic and he isn't violent or anything but every year I'm told that excessive consumption of alcohol WILL cause premature death and I know they say it to encourage me but it just makes me kind of scared for my Dad. I get why he drinks too, and that's worrying. He drinks to forget and it makes me sad that he needs to.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for your message. It sounds like your mind has been filled with worry for a long time so it's good to share your concerns.

Living with someone who drinks too much can be very upsetting. I can hear how scared you are that your dad's drinking might kill him - no one should have to cope alone with those thoughts and feelings.

You mentioned being unsure if your dad is an alcoholic. An alcoholic is someone who drinks too much alcohol and is unable to stop drinking - a person does not have to be violent or aggressive to be an alcoholic.

Even if your dad is not an alcoholic, it's clear to me the impact his drinking is having on your home life and how you are feeling. It might help for you to have a look at our page on alcohol for more information.

I'm not sure if your dad knows how worried you are - perhaps it would help to speak with him and share your concerns. He might not know how scared you are that drinking might kill him.

If you don't feel comfortable speaking to your dad, perhaps there is another adult you could speak with - maybe a teacher, or another family member who could talk to your dad and give you some support so you don't have to go through this on your own.

There are times in life when people can feel very alone or think they are the only one going through something such as living with a parent with an alcohol problem. It might help for you to share your experiences with other young people on the message boards or comment on other posts. 

You may also want to read the true stories of other young people on the National Association for Children of Alcoholics website to help you see things can be different.

Sometimes when a parent is having a difficult time, young people can start to feel it is because of something they have done. I want you to know you are not to blame. As much as you may want your dad to change, it is not your responsibility to get him to change. Right now that might feel hard to accept but your dad needs to decide for himself that he wants help.

I can hear you want to stop caring, however it is so hard to stop caring for someone when you can see how much they are changing and how sad they are feeling, but remember you don't have to cope alone.

The ChildLine counsellors are always here to listen, support, and give you more advice. You can contact a counsellor at any time.

Take care,


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