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Addiction to Alcohol/Alcoholic adult daughter


Will try to briefly summarize the problem as I see it:
42 y/o single daughter is dual diagnosed, anxiety and alcohol dependency. Has twice attempted suicide. After 23 years of steady employment with many raises and high ratings, her drinking increased to the point that she was fired.  Her 2nd suicide attempt followed. Outpatient help with psychiatrist and therapist gave her medication for anxiety, but she can't take it and drink. So, she frequently doesn't take it.  During her 14 months of unemployment she went through at least $50000 of a 401K plus unemployment, but ended up having to move because couldn't afford apartment.  We bailed her out of debt for taxes and other debt to the tune of $20,000 a few months ago when she began a new job.  We also gave her a covenant which we asked her to agree to before doing this: no drinking, get into AA, continue with therapy and medication.  We also co-signed a lease for a much less expensive apartment. A few weeks ago she called and was clearly drunk.  We wrote her a letter with a copy of the covenant.  About that time she was notified that her entire unit at work was being laid off at the end of Feb.  She has not asked for anything yet.  But at some point, we're surely going to have to pay her rent at least through the 1 year lease agreement we have unless there is an early pay off possibility.  But doing the latter would mean the possibility of her not being able to afford any rental.  I don't know if she is drinking, but would be astonished if she isn't. Issue is compounded for me in that losing her job this time wasn't her fault - she had been highly praised by her superiors and asked to consider being a unit manager.  Just one of those corporate decisions made a few thousand miles away.  I'm obviously a bit of a co-dependent, but the job loss seems to have complicated everything to the point that I can't decide which issue needs first response: her drinking again or helping her out of a bad situation she didn't create by continuing rental for her apartment.  Without also asking for marital help, you should know my wife believes we should withdraw support because she has resumed drinking, try to get out of the lease at the least cost and let the chips fall where they may.  Seems unusually cruel to me.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.  Thank you so very much.

Beverley Glazer MA., ICCAC
Beverley Glazer MA., I  
Hi Ray,

Getting a job, losing a job is all part of dealing with the pressures of life. In your daughters case, she deals with these pressures by escaping them into alcohol. To make matters worse, she also attempts suicide, which is extremely frightening for any parent, and the natural inclination is to run to rescue her.

It seems that when your daughter is not drunk, she is capable of holding a job. The problem here is her drinking. Unless you want to continuously bail her out, you have to stand firm in your demands. It seems that your wife has had enough but you and your wife have to be committed to be together on this. If not, you're enabling your daughter to continue to drink. Here is more information:

You have to give your daughter a final ultimatum -- tell her you both love her, but you've had enough. Unless she gets her life back on track, go to AA, get a sponsor and stop drinking you will not come to her rescue and she will have to live with the consequences.

This is extremely difficult for any parent to do, but you must stay strong. It would be helpful for you and your wife to get private counseling in this area, or to go to Al-Anon meetings for additional support.

I hope this information is helpful,

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All the best,


Addiction to Alcohol

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Beverley Glazer


I can answer questions on all addictive behaviors: alcohol, drugs, food, compulsive sex, codependency, gambling, compulsive shoplifting etc.


I have over 20 years experience working in the addiction field. My experience extends to all levels of substance abuse. I've worked in rehabs and detox centers, prisons and half-way houses and have a busy private practice as well as an active website where I can be reached for recovery coaching and consultation. I am a cognitive behavioral therapist, but 12-step programs are an excellent support. When working in the addiction field, there is no cookie-cutter solution. In the recovery field, you witness miracles. That's why I love what I do.

NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals, CACCF Canadian Addiction Counselors Federation, CCA Canadian Counseling Association, For more information please see:

BA Psychology, MA Counseling Psychology, ICADC International Alcohol and Drug Counselor, ICAC International Clinical Addiction Counselor, CGC Certified Gambling Counselor.

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