Mom Drinks A Lot. Dad Too.

Adults drink alcohol from time to time to relax. That’s okay, as long as they don’t do it every day. Usually, people only drink on weekends when they go to the pub with friends. But some people drink too much. And then there are people who drink alcohol all the time because otherwise they feel sick and bad. These people are alcohol dependent. This means that they can no longer live without alcohol. This kind of thing is not okay.

This Is What You Should Know About Alcohol Addiction (Alcoholism)

Alcohol is different from drinks like soda and juice. When you drink alcohol, you feel a little strange afterwards. Alcohol makes adults seem fun and happy at first. If they drink too much of it, that can change very quickly.

If someone drinks a lot of alcohol, they can get drunk. Drunk people behave as if they are suddenly a completely different person. They are sometimes louder, clumsier, or even meaner than usual. You may even get scared when a drunk acts strangely.

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It is dangerous for children to be alone with drunk people. If your parents have had too much alcohol, they might hurt you without meaning to. Once they are no longer drunk, they may be sorry. Still, it’s not okay if they scared you or hurt you.

When Parents Change

People who drink on and off change over time. They may become moody and grumble about little things more often. It also happens that they miss appointments or stop caring about their friends and family. Many have to give up their driver’s license because they were driving drunk. If things get really bad, alcoholics can even lose their jobs.

Terms You Should Know

Sober

A person who has not had any alcohol is sober. When sober, people are in control of themselves and their actions.

Alcoholic

This refers to people who are addicted to alcohol. They drink every day or several times a day. Many alcoholics don’t even know what it feels like to be sober anymore.

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Denial

Most alcoholics are in denial that they are sick. That is, they claim not to be alcoholics. Alcoholics often say things like, “It’s just for pleasure.”, “You’re seeing problems where there aren’t any.”, “Oh, it’s just for fun.”, or “I’m not sick.”. Unfortunately, it often takes up to 10 years for an alcoholic to realize they have a problem.

Being drunk

Drunk people (also: sloshed) perceive their environment differently than sober people. They lose control of their bodies. In doing so, they say things that they don’t actually mean. You should avoid drunk people at all costs. There is no point in talking to a drunk person. They behave a little like people who have a high fever. At the same time, they talk quite a lot of nonsense. That’s why you shouldn’t believe anything drunk people say.

Alcoholics Anonymous

After an alcoholic admits to himself that he has a problem, he can go to Alcoholics Anonymous. This is a group where he can talk to other alcoholics. The people there don’t know each other by name. If someone doesn’t give his name because he’s ashamed of something, for example, he’s “anonymous.”

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Alcoholics Anonymous help each other by telling each other about their problems. Because you know, “A sorrow shared is a sorrow halved.” Besides, only someone who feels the same way can understand how you feel, don’t you think?

Being dry

Once an alcoholic has managed to stop drinking, he is “dry.” Now he is not allowed to drink a single sip of alcohol. Otherwise, he might get the urge to get drunk again.

Withdrawal

To get well again, alcoholics go to a special clinic. There, together with a doctor, they try to kick the drinking habit very slowly. This process is called withdrawal.

Psychotherapy

People who have become alcoholics need psychotherapy. This means they talk to a therapist regularly. Therapists are people you can talk to openly. They don’t tell anything else and they know well about human feelings. Some people cry a lot at the therapist because they talk about their problems there. The conversation helps them find out the reasons for their addiction. This makes it easier to stay dry.

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What You Can Do

You suspect that one of your family members is addicted to alcohol? By all means, don’t try to deal with this situation alone. Talk about it with adults you trust. By the way: You can find more articles about alcoholism on our site.

In Germany, you can talk to experts from the telephone helpline. You can reach them at 0800/1110111 or 0800/1110222. From Switzerland or Austria, you can dial 147 for advice and help.

Worksheet For The Text

1) Explain the difficult words from the text.

What does…

  • alcohol dependent

  • Alcohol dependence (alcoholism)

  • drunk

  • Withdrawal

  • being dry

  • Psychotherapy

Photo: From Schonertagen / bigstockphoto.com

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