Alcoholism is devastating, i almost had a problem myself after Tilly was born and I never receiveved the much needed help from the health care system, so it seemed easy to reach for a bottle to make all of the problems go away for a short time. Luckily I saw the signs and managed to put a stop to it, others are not so lucky. To go alongside the book spotlight of Party With a Plan we have an interview with Randy Haveson
Why did you write this book?
I have seen firsthand the devastation that can be caused by alcoholism. I remember how painful it was telling my mom that I was an alcoholic. And it terrifies me to think about my child one day becoming an alcoholic. So I wrote this book to help others not fall into that pit.
What do you tell parents about how to safeguard their kids from ruining their lives with alcohol?
I tell parents to have many discussions with their kids about alcohol and other drugs. When they see stories on the internet or on TV, talk to them about what they saw and what they thought. I also tell them to be good role models when it comes to drinking. Parents who drink to excess tend to have kids that drink to excess. Kids see everything and they will watch what you do more than listen to what you say.
Are there differences in the way different countries look at drinking alcohol?
Yes, there are many. Each country has its own issues with the misuse of alcohol, but much of it is determined by the country’s view on drunkenness and whether alcohol is viewed as a food or a source of entertainment. In Italy and France for example, alcohol is considered a food. In the US and the UK, alcohol is not viewed as a food and we have many more problems than they do in those countries. When it comes to drunkenness, in the US and UK poor behavior because of alcohol is tolerated for the most part. We hear “kids will be kids” and “It’s just a phase, she’ll grow out of it.” Or we ignore it completely. The book is meant to open discussions about alcohol and give people the tools they need to make low-risk choices with alcohol.
What are some signs I can look for in my child if I suspect there’s a problem?
Some of the things I tell parents to look for is a sudden change in behavior or a change in friends. Are they becoming more secretive and making less eye contact? Are their grades dropping and are they showing a lack of interest in things that used to interest them? If you think there’s something going on, check it out. Thinking the problem will just go away is not realistic. Addressing it head on like you would any other health issue is imperative.