Alcoholism – it’s hard to deal with.

Knowing when to say when or enough is enough…

is not the easiest thing to do, especially when alcohol is used as a coping skill or the mentality is that “it won’t happen to me”. While many of those involved in an alcoholic’s life or a substance abuser’s life are asking “why” and “when will it stop” many of those stricken with the disease of alcohol abuse might be asking “why not – I can handle it”. In the case of Amy Winehouse (professional singer and artist), the question of how much could actually be handled was answered unfortunately with her life as she passed away from an unintended consequence of drinking ‘too much’ alcohol, a British coroner ruled Wednesday (October 2011). Pathologist Suhail Baithun told the inquest into the singer’s death that Winehouse had consumed a “very large quantity of alcohol” — the level in her blood put her more than five times over the legal drunk-driving limit (Hui, 2011)

I had a few teen clients in-group say, “Coach, we all have to die and at least she died doing what she liked to do”. Some may hear that and the hairs on the back our neck would stand up, but, I must admit, there is a possibility she did die from the consequences of doing what she liked to do.  However, I have to also add / ask, at what point do we do what we ‘want’ to do while respecting the ‘above our control’ consequences… when does a person know when to say when or enough is enough? This question is for all of us and relates to everything we do in life and it’s only for you, the individual to answer. I constantly remind parents that have using teens, “Until the pain of the consequences outweighs the joy of the use, the behavior will continue”.

I didn’t know Ms. Winehouse, but from everything that I read, I do understand that she had a craving for alcohol and I also know from proven research that the abuse of alcohol is a disease and one that will escort the best of us to a premature death. If you have a loved one or a teen that you are concerned about, seek the advise of a professional. It may be natural to want to ‘fix’ or ‘solve’ the problem for them, some parents may believe that more hugs and less drugs will stop the behavior, some believe that a swift kick in the rear-end will jolt a change in behavior and finally, there are the parents that will process and talk about the problem over and over and over, forgetting that they themselves would not like to hear more then once that they are an idiot.

It’s a difficult fight for the user / abuser and parent or loved ones involved. It’s a fight you do not have to take on alone. If you’d like support or some one to educate you on how to overcome the challenges of parenting an addicted teen – contact Coach Nakumbe today for help. Coach offers support to parents with one on one as well as free group sessions. Coach offers support, education and coping strategies to teens that use / abuse and that want to make a change or that have already completed treatment but continue to struggle with use.

Hui, S. (2011). Associated Press. Amy Winehouse Died From Too Much Alcohol. Retrieved on October, 11 2011 from