One in four people under 18 lives in a family affected by alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Most of those people know what it's like to HATE IT when a parent drinks -- to feel embarrassed to bring friends over, to feel anxiety about their parent's unpredictable behavior, or to feel like they have to take care of their parent instead of their parent taking care of them.
TeenNick is showing a Nick News special called Under the Influence; it's about the different experiences the children of alcoholics have when their parents drink, and the different ways some have found to get through it.
You can watch the whole thing by clicking here.
If you have the same problem in your family, NACOA (The National Association for the Children of Alcoholics) has a very important message for you:
It's not your fault.
You can't control your parent's drinking.
And you're not alone.
Even though you can't control someone else's drinking, you CAN still help yourself -- to have a better and safer life regardless of what they do. Even if the alcoholic never changes, you can still be OK.
1) You can reach out for help -- talk to a trusted adult like a grandparent, aunt, uncle, a friend's parent, or someone at school like a teacher, school counselor, or nurse.
3) You can join a support group -- your school counselor can help you find one. Support groups are a great way to meet other people who are going through the same thing you are, and to help each other through the hard times. One example is Alateen; here's a link to some basic questions and answers about what Alateen is about.
4) You can educate yourself by reading this Q&A from NACOA about what alcoholism is.