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Does My Parent Really Have a Problem?

The answer is so simple it almost sounds silly. If someone else’s drinking or drug use is causing you a problem, that’s too much. Some questions to ask yourself. If you’re not sure there is a problem, check out the questions below:

Modified CAST – 6 (Children of Alcoholics Screening Test – 6 items)

These questions are a subsample of questions appearing on the CAST, developed by Jones and Pilat, and have also been rigorously tested.

  • Have you ever thought that one of your parents had a drinking problem?
  • Did you ever encourage one of your parents to quit drinking?
  • Did you ever argue or fight with a parent when he or she was drinking?
  • Have you ever heard your parents fight when one of them was drunk?
  • Did you ever feel like hiding or emptying your parent’s alcohol?
  • Did you ever wish that a parent would stop drinking?

Al-Anon Questionnaire

  1. Does your parent or relative’s drinking or drug use upset you?
  2. Do you cover up your feelings pretending that you don’t care?
  3. Are holidays and gatherings spoiled because of drinking or drug use?
  4. Do you tell lies to cover up for someone’s drinking or drug abuse or to hide what’s happening in your home?
  5. Do you stay out of the house as much as possible because you hate it there?
  6. Are you afraid to upset someone for fear it will set off a drinking or drug use bout?
  7. Do you feel no one really loves you or cares about you?
  8. Are you afraid or embarrassed to bring your friends home?
  9. Do you think the addicted person’s behavior is caused by you, other members of your family, or rotten breaks in life?
  10. Do you make threats such as “If you don’t stop drinking, using drugs, or fighting, I’ll run away”?
  11. Do you make promises about behavior, such as getting better school grades, oing to church, or keeping your room clean in exchange for a promise that the fighting, using, and drinking will stop?
  12. Do you feel that if your mom or dad loved you, she or he would stop drinking or using drugs?
  13. Do you ever threaten or actually hurt yourself to scare your parents into saying “I’m sorry” or “I love you”?
  14. Do you believe no one could possibly understand how you feel?
  15. Do you have money problems because of someone else’s drinking or drug abuse?
  16. Are meal times frequently delayed because of the drinker or drug abuser?
  17. Have you considered calling the police because of the drinker’s or drug abuser’s abusive behavior?
  18. Have you ever refused to go out with friends because of fear or anxiety?
  19. Do you think your problems would be solved if the drinking or drug abuse stopped?
  20. Do you ever treat people (teachers, siblings, friends, teammates etc) unjustly because you are angry at someone else for drinking or using drugs?

Adapted from Al-Anon