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Lori Gephart
Lori Gephart, Licensed Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 259
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist and Hypnotherapist 20 years of experience helping clients of all ages.
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Need advice about an adult child who denies she is an alco

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Need advice about an adult child who denies she is an alcoholic

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I am sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing with your daughter. Many people will use alcohol to try to "self medicate" to dull the emotional pain that they are feeling. You may find the following link for Alanon to be helpful in offering support for family members of those who have drinking problems: This may help you to understand the issues that are occurring. Meetings can also be helpful to get support from others who have been in your shoes.


It sounds as if your daughter may be avoiding facing her feelings and may not be able to feel them in a safe way, so she may use alcohol to avoid them. One of the hallmarks of addiction is to deny that there is a problem and to avoid taking responsibility. While you can't control what your daughter does, you can be very clear with her that you love her, you are concerned about her, and that you believe that she has a serious problem with alcohol. Sometimes it is helpful to have multiple family members and friends get together to have an "intervention" to let her know how serious your concerns are. Addiction specialists in your area should be available to help you with an intervention if you decide to go this route.


Additionally, one thing you can control is to stop any enabling behaviors. This is a difficult thing to do but is the kindest thing in the long run for her. That means no more financial support, no bailing her out, no making up for her mistakes, and instead using tough love - letting her know that you care about her but you will no longer help her out. Of course, you may still want to make yourself available for her children as much as you are able to. Unfortunately, you can't control how involved her ex husband is with this problem either. If you feel that the children are in danger then you could contact the authorities to make sure that they are safe.


Since you can't change her, one of the things you can work on is you. Remember to take care of yourself by a focus on healthy activities such as exercise, eating healthy, hobbies, time with supportive people, etc. Above all, make sure you give your daughter, your grandchildren and yourself unconditional love. I wish you the best with this difficult issue. Please let me know if I can help further.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Our daughter has a college degree. Just last week she lost a good job. She was there for less than 3 months and on probation with the employer but after missing at least 12 days due to excuses, her employer had to let her go. So she is once again unemployed. We have been paying her modified mortgage payment, but it was a huge mistake on our part.
The home has a first and second mortgage and we believe she has not filed income taxes since her divorce.

We have decided to not pay any more mtge payments. Her brother wants to offer her and her children to move in with his family BUT he is adament that she MUST find work, and follow other rules that he will tell her about. As of today, she cancelled a meeting he wanted to have with her, so we want to know what to do next ...???

I agree that paying your daughter's mortgage will not be helpful to her. If her brother agrees to have her live with him then he needs to consider what the consequence will be if she does not find work or keep work or follow the other rules since this is very likely that she will continue her pattern of not being responsible. In other words - what would the exit strategy be? He could make treatment a mandatory condition for staying in his home, or the family could have an intervention and ask her to go to rehab which is probably the best thing that you could do for her. Unfortunately, without intensive treatment she is not likely to make changes in her life. Please let me know if I can help further.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for the previous answers. Can you refer me to any agencies here in CA that our daughter could go to for some kind of welfare or financial help? I assume that if she does agree to get professional help, but has no income or is unable to be hired because her credit is negative, there must be agencies especially here in CA to get food stamps or other forms of financial aid.

We have had our meeting and all have agreed to provide no financial aid. I would just like to know for myself what is available for her. Our family members have never had to ask for financial help, but it seems to me there are lots of people draining our systems of our tax money who lie about their situations.

Would really appreciate the names of those places she could go to get help once she decides to get therapy.

Thank you.

The California Department of Social Services

would be a place for her to start in order to get assistance. I wish you and your family the best of luck with this. Please click Accept if my answers have been helpful.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thank you. Not sure how much I am entitled to. Can I still ask for more information from you?
Thank you for the question. I can follow up with this question if I haven't fully answered it. If my answer has been helpful then please press Accept. I am also happy to answer future questions. You can submit a new question for me by starting it "For Lori".
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