My dad has a drug problem, and now I think he is in a midlife crisis as well. What can I do?

by Danielle
(CO)

The question


My father has had a drug problem (Cocaine) off - and more so on - the majority of his life. He is finally getting help for that, but now I am pretty sure he is going through a mid life crisis, and I was wondering if there is anyone out there like me who has had to deal with these two problems together as well.

He goes out every night, mainly to the strip club, blows his money and treats his friends. He then comes home broke and drunk, sleeps all day until its time for him to go to work, then repeats the night again.

He spends more time with his friends than his family now. He finds excuses to go out (like starting fights with my mom for no reason, just out of the blue), and just is totally uninterested in his own family.

He used to be pretty good at keeping his word, and that has also gone out the window.

My dad used to be very level headed and sensible. He is not the same anymore. I have tried talking to him, letting him know how I feel. He finds a way to turn the conversation on to someone else, and then it ends there.

How can I help him through this? My mom gets too emotional, and then very angry because of it, so she's really no help. She's at the point where its like "Let him do what he wants, if he doesn't come home, oh well!".

Noel's response

Your dad may be going through a midlife crisis, but the symptoms you describe sound like those of an addict. You say he is getting help for his cocaine addiction, but I suspect that if he is not using, he is what in alcoholic terms is called a 'dry drunk' meaning he is not drinking, but is not sober either.

As for what you can do, the only thing I can suggest is you join a group such as ala teen, or if there is a support group for children of drug addicts in your area, join that. You will find other kids whose parents are addicts, and you will get help in figuring out how to manage your own life.

It is not your job to help your dad, and in fact you cannot, and I am sure he is unwilling to be helped by you, or anyone else.

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