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How to handle a dad coming home drunk?

By Anonymous July 31, 2013 - 7:59am
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I came home from college this summer and have been having some issues with my dad. He will come home from work drunk. What's really frustrating is my mom or I will confront him about it and he gets upset saying "I'm not drunk or I didn't drink anything." I've confronted him about it when he's sober too and he still denies it. We've even used a breathalyzer before when he is acting drunk and it reads that he does in fact have a high level of alcohol in his body. He acts very rude and says hurtful things when he is drunk too which is upsetting.

It's a really overwhelming situation for me at times because when my dad's sober he's a great guy to be around. But to me it's really upsetting that he would get drunk on a regular basis and cause so much stress and pain to his family. I don't want my mom or brother to have to deal with this situation when I'm away at college either. And I hate for the situation to continue in a cycle of my dad getting drunk, everything seeming fine when he's sober, then him doing the same thing again. Do you have any advice for what I should do in a situation like this?

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you so much for the help! I appreciate it.

July 31, 2013 - 5:22pm
HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks for your post!

I was familiar with drunk family members by the time I was five and learned how to handle them within a couple of years and for me as a small kid, it was to smile, be nice and get out of their way as quickly as possible.

Later on, when I was an adult and had choices now, I walked away. That was my choice, it's not the right choice for everyone.

Your father may be addicted to alcohol, rather than just being a partier.  If so, his addiction should be treated like the disease it is.  Contact Al-Alon (a support group for those with alcoholic family members) here for more information and for support for you and your other family members:  http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

Talk to your mom about staging an intervention; your family doctor can help you out there.

I don't think it's a good idea to confront your father, or even deal with him when he's drunk. Remember that his brain is chemically imbalanced so you won't make sense to him and he won't be speaking as a sober person which can make conversations a waste of time.

You cannot force him to change. This is a decision that addicts have to make on their own unless they are considered a risk to themselves or others. He is clearly drinking at work (if he is coming home drunk right after work) and driving drunk. He may lose his job or kill someone; but he may be too far gone to care or even realize this.

Your mom needs to be in charge of this situation- have her contact doctors or interventionists. If he absolutely refuses to change, it's up to your mother whether to stay or not.

Most addicts are pretty nice sober but something is also very wrong. That's why they continue to get high. Your father may also have a physical dependence to alcohol so this is very hard to take care of alone.

I wish you all the very best-stay in touch with us.


July 31, 2013 - 11:32am
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