Dear GZ Advisor,
I have a parent who's an alcoholic. I'm very distressed and can't concentrate in school. Can you guys help me?
About 20 million kids under 18 are growing up in homes where one or both parents abuse alcohol/drugs. Knowing this may not make you feel better, but it should help you realize that you're part of a BIG crowd. This also means that there's lots of help out there for you from people who will know exactly what you're going through.
Know that you have had absolutely nothing to do with your parent drinking. You haven't caused it, and you can't stop it.
What you CAN do is help yourself.
FIND SOMEONE TO TALK TO...an adult you can trust. Don't feel guilty for telling (if your mom or dad had cancer, you'd talk about it, right?) The same holds true for chemical dependency...which is a disease. In addition to talking to an adult you trust, look in the Yellow Pages under Alcoholism or Alcoholism Information and Treatment Centers and in the White Pages under Alcoholics and National Council on Alcoholism. Call a number and ask how you can get information about chemical dependence.
Check out this Web site for info on Al-Anon and Alateen. Alateen will help you find a group in your area. You need support from teens and adults!