My brother, (our uncle), died from the effects of alcoholism aged 46 in 2003. He left a wife and three young children.
He went into 'rehab' several times and for a year managed to avoid alcohol. Only his eldest child remembers that happy time. The children's memories are of living with an alcoholic father; his unpredictability, the embarrassment, the financial consequences of his losing his job. They were angry with him for not 'stopping drinking' and, when he died, racked with guilt for having been angry.
As a family we did our best, but there was little professional support for his wife and children and we were inconsistent, swerving between sympathy and so called 'tough love'.
Action on Addiction have a programme called M-Pact which supports children/young people aged 8 -17 who are experiencing the effects of parental substance misue within the family. The programme offers a 'Whole Family Approach' working with parents and children from up to eight families at a time.
My brother and his family did not have the benefit of such a programme; it probably would not have prevented his death, but may well have made the years which followed it easier for his wife and children to bear
Please help to support this charity which supports the families of addicts. http://www.aona.co.uk/Home.aspx