: Drugs, alcohol and mental health

Discuss the twin challenges of mental health and substance use

3 replies

When is it time to stop?

Too cut the story short my mum is an alcoholic and after many years of heavy drinking that is the results of her poor mental heath she has landed herself very ill and in hospital.

I'm 16 with 2 younger brothers, I also live with my granddad and dad my mum eventually got help through the GP in summer, she started horizon and they agreed that she needed detox away from home and rehab. When she went to detox on the 22nd November they said she was too ill to stay there as her liver had failed and she was extremely ill. She has know been in hospital for 7/ 8 weeks. We went to see her baring in mind she is a 2 hour drive away. We found her shouting and crying to the junior doctor saying she was discharging herself and she wasn't going to rehab. The nurses said to us that she needed a mental health assessment because she needed to be sectioned, however my mum is very manipulated and isn't stupid. Therefore, i'm concerned that she won't be sectioned and will discharge herself!

So i'm on here to ask at what point to we as a family take a step and let her go. I don't want to enable her drinking as she will die and i don't want to be the reason she dies, but my mum has rights and at some point i'm going to have to take a step back because I have done everything and anything that I can do.

Can someone please give me some advice i'm only 16 and I don't know what to do. This is such a struggle, crying every day I can never sleep. I have insomnia. I tell people its because of my ADHD but its really because i'm constantly thinking she will die. I've never had a mum and its all i want, I suffer everyday!! The abuse growing up the heartache and pain. I never talk about it to anyone because it's to painful. Growing up feeling no one loves me, neglected and suffering if anyone could offer help that would be great.

replying to mil1234

Dear Mil1234,

I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. It sounds like you need people to speak to. There are loads of support groups for people in your situation out there! Family members need support in their own rights, and talking to people going through the same thing can be really useful. The Adfam website has a service map so you can find support groups near you.

You are doing really well.

Best wishes,


replying to mil1234

Hi Mil1234

I just had another thought - NACOA (National Association for Children of Alcoholics) runs a helpline if you want to talk to someone about what you are going through. Childline is also worth calling for advice and to get things off your chest.

Best wishes,


replying to mil1234

Hi Mil1234,

I'm so sad to read your post. What you are going through is very tough for anyone, let alone someone of your age. Though very painful at first, you might find it does get easier to talk with people about how you are feeling, and that might become helpful to you.

You have been given some good advice on where to get help and, as well as those, you might try The Icarus Trust. We are a charity that supports people like you who are having to deal with a family member's addiction. We have experienced, specialist people who you could talk with if you contact us. This is a free service.

You can contact us on help@icarustrust.org or visit the website www.icarustrust.org

I'm really hoping that youwill be able to get some help.

All the very best and good luck.

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