‘I noticed beer and wine going missing’

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  • When Robbie became a teenager, I was really worried he’d get into drugs. We live in quite a rough area and I knew he’d be offered them so me and my husband made sure we talked to him and explained how dangerous they could be.

    I was so busy worrying about drugs, I didn’t even stop to think that alcohol could become a problem. Then one day, my husband David complained that his beer was missing out of the fridge. Over the next few months, more and more alcohol went missing including bottles of wine and even vodka. Our other son’s only 8 so it wasn’t hard to work out Robbie had been taking it.

    I hoped it was just the odd drink to impress his friends but a few times I caught Robbie drunk at home on his own. He tried to hide it and chewed gum all the time to disguise the smell but it was pretty obvious. He was only 14.

    I knew we had to tread carefully so I looked up on the internet what to do and found some good advice. One thing it made me realise was that me and David weren’t very good role models. We drank wine or beer most nights so we immediately cut down and only drank at weekends.

    We also talked to David about it, but not in an aggressive way. We explained how bad it was for his liver and he was shocked. He said he hadn’t meant to do any harm but that it just made him feel more confident. We agreed to keep an eye on the situation. I said I’d buy him the odd beer on the weekend as long as he was going to drink it with us and as long as he didn’t take anything else without asking.

    When he went out with friends, we started picking him up about 10 o’ clock. He knew we’d be looking out for signs of alcohol and that seemed to do the trick. He’s 17 now and drinks socially from time to time but I’m sure he doesn’t have a problem. David and I still drink far less too so it’s been good for everyone.