My son is about to go to college. His dad passed away when he was 8 and had an addiction to alcohol. I am so scared he is going to enter college life and become addicted to things after being curious. We have talked about it many times, but teenagers think they know everything and are invincible. I have told him there is a 50% chance he got the addiction gene and he needs to be careful. When I went to college I partied and tried it all, but I got lucky not getting addicted. Any advice?

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There is both a genetic and environmental component of addiction so I understand where you’re coming from. I got sober before my son was even born and have done my best to give him a stable and loving household with my wife. I’ve never hidden my past - he knows what I’ve been through, the consequences I’ve faced for my addictions, and his family history.

But at some point, we need to let go and let them live their own lives. Everyone has their own journey and I have little to no control over others’ paths. We can just be supportive without being enabling and hope the right choices are made. And if they need help, we can be there for them. I’ve seen several examples of parents and their kids in AA over the years. I actually think it’s beautiful. I mean I hope my kid doesn’t have to get to that point like I did, but he knows AA is there if he needs it.


Al- anon meetings near you. I think would help you especially if you experienced your husband alcoholism we cause our family members to become as sick as we are. It definitely will help you to learn how to detach with love.🙏🏾😍


That is great advice. Did you mean I should go with my son or by myself?

It’s tough. My kids are in college now and because both were adopted in a closed adoption, I don’t have any idea what their genetic dispositions are. I don’t drink, but my ex has always had a very alcohol-centered lifestyle and had my younger child mixing cocktails before the age of 10. My elder child drinks a bit and my younger child does not drink at all. We have always had very open conversations about alcohol and drugs (my father was also an addict, so I talked about growing up with that) and they have a pretty clear-eyed understanding of the risks and realities (the reality that for most people, social drinking is ok). I still worry, but I have to trust that I’ve raised really sensible kids and we have open communication, so if they do want to talk, they can.

I agree with the advice to find a good support group for yourself. It’s understandable that you would be concerned, given your experience. Living with an addict puts you on guard for everything.


You’ve done your part in educating him and laying out the risks, the rest is up to him. The more you try to control him the more the sickness is actually impacting you and not him. And you actually risk creating a resentment that could lead to more drinking (I know I drank a hell of a lot more in high school because my mom was the crusader trying to stop all the parties…).

As others have mentioned, Al-Anon is an amazing option for families, and Adult Children of Alcoholics is amazing for anyone who grew up in an alcoholic household. You can’t force your son to go to either, much like no one can force you to go, but if you want it for yourself it’s always there and it helps those who follow the suggestions.

There’s no way I would have been ready for anything recovery related in college, and I loved all my partying years while at school; I’m just grateful I found 12-step recovery at the time I needed it and when I was willing to accept it for myself, which happened to be at the age of 34.

Prayers headed your way!


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