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Why does my dad put alcohol and narcotics ahead of the family?

7 Answers
Last Updated: 07/17/2017 at 6:04am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
April 7th, 2015 11:42pm
A parent with an addiction problem is so painful. When my mom was drinking, I used to wonder why she would put that above me too, and I found it very hurtful. Sometimes it helped to remind myself that it really didn't mean anything about how she felt about me - her behavior was because of her addiction/sickness, and not directed towards me. Other times, I had to focus on getting support I needed from other family members instead. It wasn't easy, though, and it did hurt. Alanon was helpful for me in finding others who had similar experiences and could be a support for me.
May 19th, 2015 10:10am
It's like asking why the people do criminal. There are thousands of reasons why bad people do bad stuff. They have bad education, they are unhappy themselfves, etc. The important is : it's affecting badly to the family. So stay away from it. Study hard, work hard to earn money to support yourself , your mom and others. You can't change your dad . You are no god.
June 8th, 2015 5:20pm
Your father sounds like he is facing addiction. Addiction is a neurological as well as psychological disorder. Your father may want to stop using, but his neurological addiction makes it impossible for him right now to say no. You can help him by offering him support and telling him how his addiction makes you feel. Offer to help him through detox or therapy and keep in mind that can be scary for an addict. Sometimes addicts really want to stop, but the fear of detoxing and withdrawal is strong enough to keep them from seeking help. Letting him know that he wouldn't be alone as he goes through this could help. Your father loves you and your family, but alcohol and narcotics are seductive, cruel adversary's.
June 22nd, 2015 10:01pm
I have spent a lifetime around addicts and have learned to forgive them because the complexities of their minds are so complicated. I don't think anyone can completely understand why.
October 10th, 2016 12:38am
It is not that your dad puts alcohol and narcotics ahead of the family, it's that his addiction does not allow him to see that his actions and choices are impacting his family. As an addiction counselor, I understand how family members feel that their loved ones are putting more importance into the substance, but this isn't the case. Addicts struggle with a brain that allow him/her to fight against the pain of needing the substance. Because addiction is a disease, think of how we would treat or understand someone with diabetes. Individuals dealing with this disease may have higher or lower sugar levels and may act differently unless they take their medication. Those behaviors are not seen as negative side effects of their disease (even though a man who has low blood sugar levels who is driving could look just as intoxicated as an individual who drank two or more alcoholic beverages). If we approach addiction with understanding, acceptance and support we may be able to turn around the perception of addiction and find new ways to help family members suffering from this life-threatening disease and the family members impacted by addiction.
January 30th, 2017 1:58am
I hear your father is putting substances before the welfare of your family. Substance abuse can put you in a mindset foreign to others. It is similar to an alter ego. All your attention is put into more substance abuse, and unfortunately all you can control is yourself. An addict's mindset is not on their family, it's on their constant nagging need to fill their void with harmful things. It isn't your fault. And truth be told, it's not really his either. At some point, with any addictive and harmful behavior, we lose control of ourselves.
July 17th, 2017 6:04am
Addiction is a powerful thing. Drugs and alcohol put chemicals in your brain that make you feel good but when you put them in your system too consistently they make your brain unable to produce those happy chemicals naturally. In the eyes of an addict, close nothing makes them happy except for the substance they abuse. This causes relationships to deteriorate because the drugs make them forget why they need connection. If your dad is at that point of addiction he probably needs help and you should look into getting him some sort of treatment. If money is an issue support groups and interventions are options. I suggest talking to an adult in your life who may be able to help you help him.