Helping a alcoholic

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Jetex Jim
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Helping a alcoholic

#1 Post by Jetex Jim » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:28 am

The question is, how can one help a alcoholic? I've been unable to help my alcoholic friend without inadvertently facilitating her drinking.

This female friend of mine, who I was very fond of, periodically lapses into phases of extreme drinking.
She's a smart girl and very lovely but the desire or perhaps the necessity to drink keeps getting the better of her.

The cycle is as follows:
She'll be preoccupied with work and her studies then some trigger event will occur and she'll seek oblivion through alcohol.
She then enters a downward spiral which usually cumulates in a spell drying out in a suitable institution. After her detox sessions she'll be OK for a while, then the cycle will soon enough be triggered again.

She can be extremely obnoxious during the drunken phase using all kinds of emotional blackmail to lever assistance.
She runs the risk, I'm fairly sure, of alienating all her friends with her behaviour during the drunken phase. She still has surviving mother and father but I don't think they are able or perhaps not inclined anymore to give her much support.

Financial support is the easiest but this just seems to facilitate feeding the demon.

All suggestions greatly appreciated.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#2 Post by Cacophonix » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:39 pm

Has she recognised she is in trouble!

Does she love herself?

Do you love her?

It is so so hard man...



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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#3 Post by OFSO » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:37 am

That is bad. I lost a good friend to drink. Lovely person when sober, mad when drunk. Discharged from hospital with organ failure, last act was to drag herself to supermarket and buy booze. Always thought there was an element of self-hatred in her. She is not the only person we have known like that, but sadly we never found any way of stopping our friends drinking.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#4 Post by Capetonian » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:22 pm

Very difficult indeed. I have had a couple of friends who have gone down this path.

One was a young (late 20s), intelligent, well educated female. She recovered and is now happily married with two children and does not touch alcohol.

The other was a middle aged male who was driven to drink by living in that shithole called Dubai, where he had a good job and access to plenty of money to buy as much booze as he wanted. He drank himself to death.

I am not sure that anyone can help them until they accept that they have a problem. It is only at that point that they will accept help.
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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#5 Post by OFSO » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:09 pm

Mrs OFSO wishes to say that she attempted to stop three friends drinking themselves to death and failed everyone. Impossible without the individuals co-op and even then difficult.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#6 Post by Mrs Ex-Ascot » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:48 pm

Agree with the two posts above; if she doesn't want to stop drinking then no matter what help she gets from friends and professionals will fail in the long term.

I know two reformed alcoholics, one alcoholic who will probably be dead before Christmas and one very dead alcoholic. The reformed alcoholics both sought help on their own initiative.The other two refuse/refused to accept that they have/had a problem. Sad but I guess it is their lives and their choice. I suggest that there is no way of helping your friend unless she approaches you for help.
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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#7 Post by Jetex Jim » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:02 pm

My friend has at least recognised that she has an addiction problem but she has not got to the point where she's able to stop drinking and stay stopped. I think she has some demons that pop back up and cause her to seek escape through drink. I've known her about a year and during this time I've seen her go through three cycles of going from sobriety to 'oh I'll just have a glass of wine with the meal.' Shortly thereafter to knocking back a complete bottle of vodka in a session. On one occasion she seemed to be able to stop without professional assistance but on two other times that I know about she had to go to a detox centre and got professional assistance drying out.

She broke another cycle of sobriety about 3 wks ago and is currently in detox. She will stay there for a few more days. She's saying now she's going to move back to home be near mom and dad. There's a sense where this gets me off the hook and this has left me relieved.

This is such a common problem I thought it might be useful to discuss it on here. BTW, I feel inclined to class alcoholism as an addiction. When being addicted means you rearrange your life to facilitate the addiction.

Thank you for your comments.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#8 Post by Capetonian » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:29 pm

Some opinions are that alcoholism is a disease rather than simply an addiction. I am not sure, but it is a terrible affliction and I lost one of my closest friends to it and have seen much suffering amongst others, who even if not alcoholics, drink far too much.

I hope your friend can heal herself.
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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#9 Post by Jetex Jim » Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:04 am

My friend called me last night. She's still in the detox centre but she gets out today.

They've given her a medication called Antabuse. This is a medication which is which is infused into the body via a pellet implant system. Antabuse has the effect of making you feel the symptoms of a hangover at the time you take a drink. Antabuse can be obtained on the NHS only in tablet form, so one could stop the medicating.

Obviously with the pellet implant system one is locked into the treatment for a long period. Such systems for Antabuse can be obtained Poland and Latvia.

Hmmm, fingers crossed.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#10 Post by fin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:27 pm

While it is generally acknowledged that outsiders can not stop an alcoholic from drinking, there are certain things which CAN be done to make the alcoholic less comfortable and perhaps begin to confront the circumstances of their life.

Example...wife calls boss, says hubby has flu and won't be in to work today, and then brings him a cold beer in bed.

Corrected example...husband passes out in bathroom, covers himself with puke and she lets him remain there and sort out his employment situation on his own.
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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#11 Post by fin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:29 pm

Jetex Jim wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:04 am
My friend called me last night. She's still in the detox centre but she gets out today.

They've given her a medication called Antabuse. This is a medication which is which is infused into the body via a pellet implant system. Antabuse has the effect of making you feel the symptoms of a hangover at the time you take a drink. Antabuse can be obtained on the NHS only in tablet form, so one could stop the medicating.

Obviously with the pellet implant system one is locked into the treatment for a long period. Such systems for Antabuse can be obtained Poland and Latvia.

Hmmm, fingers crossed.
Antabuse has been in use in the colonies since the 1940s. It works ONLY if it is taken regularly, and produced violent nausea and vomiting if alcohol is then consumed.

"She's saying now she's going to move back to home be near mom" and etc

Sadly, the so-called geographic cure is an almost certain fail. The tools that would likely be most effective should definitely have been introduced at detox.
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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#12 Post by Jetex Jim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:34 pm

It would seem that the Antabuse implant has a lifetime of at least 6 months. Chemically it is a very long established treatment, what is new is the delivery system which ensures that the subject (or patient) cannot just resume drinking by ceasing taking tablets.

We shall see. My fingers are still crossed.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#13 Post by belfrybat » Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:53 pm

Addictions, or rather, dependencies, are classified as diseases these days. Antabuse doesn't address he underlying issues and once the patient is off it will go back big-time and make up for the time lost.

By your description of the on-again off-again pattern her drinking may be a symptom of deeper issues.

What finally stopped a decade of heavy drinking was when I was diagnosed with severe depression. It expressed itself in a chronic feeling of anxiety and emptiness, the booze relieved that. The constant hangover and consequent craving didn't help any.

A course of anti-depressants and psychotherapy got me off that pattern. Will and motivation are of course also needed. I knew that I'd go under definitely if I kept it up, and I had an interesting job that I wanted to keep. That was 29 years ago and I've never since felt any desire for as much as a sniff.

So tell your friend to do some deeper clinical tests. In my case it was a hormonal imbalance, appropriate medication put that back on the rails. She will need to be at least 14 days on the wagon, and must also consult a psychiatrist specialized in the field. She may likely be bi-polar.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#14 Post by Jetex Jim » Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:30 pm

I am impressed by the insight and honesty of all those posting on here.

Thank you one and all.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#15 Post by Slasher » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:02 pm

Drunk woman got aggressive at the crew during Air India flight #AI131 to London Heathrow (video)
https://www.airlive.net/drunk-irish-wom ... row-video/


I think this foul slag has a real problem. Beyond help.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24m-V2f9-sY

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#16 Post by G-CPTN » Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:53 pm

Slasher wrote:
Wed Nov 14, 2018 3:02 pm
Drunk woman got aggressive at the crew during Air India flight #AI131 to London Heathrow (video)
https://www.airlive.net/drunk-irish-wom ... row-video/


I think this foul slag has a real problem. Beyond help.
Charming vocabulary.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#17 Post by cockney steve » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:22 pm

Having resigned myself to a single life, I was over 60 when I became involved with a lady over the road, who's partner had died some 6 years previously. We became inseperable in very short order. Her late 30's daughter resented me" taking the place" of her late father....My Pam would enjoy a glass of wine with a meal.....but would get wrecked at any sort of boozy gathering. She developed a small cancerous growth...successfully treated. Daughter had been left by her partner of 23 years (4 kids, 6 months to 17 )
We'd have them at weekends, so their mum could have a bit of time with her druggy plasterer boyfriend.
She had a history of illness and went into hospital, had a cancerous bladder removed...Pam started secretly drinking....we rowed. Daughter went home to die, when she was pronounced terminal (I'd sussed some months previously) Estranged Plasterer was taken back and killed himself, O/d- ing on her drugs!
2 weeks later, she died. Pam started getting wrecked again. she lied about the secret stashes. I finally offered that if she didn't stop lying to me , I'd leave. Unfortunately, several "friends" were buying her 1/2 -bottles of whiskey (she'd give them her credit -card! ).....sometimes , neighbour and her partner would drag her in, between them, she was too drunk to crawl up the stairs. moved back to my house. went over each day to feed her and her 2 dogs, let them out etc.She wouldn't talk about her anguish, loss of her only daughter (who'd given her some comfort by accepting our relationship, shortly before she died.) Midnight and her neighbour alerted me, a hell of a crash had aroused them....partner had gone in to Pam's , did I want to go over.....Absolutely pickled! I had very strong words with her suppliers....several days later, she was well enough to make her way upstairs to bed. She wouldn't eat, but I didn't know she wasn't taking her heart and blood -pressure medication...but was popping the "happy-pills" from the packs We had a conversation and I explained that I loved her and wanted her, not the drunken wreck , but I knew she was drying out and needed to be sure she had it under control.
went over the following morning and she was dead.

My first partner would binge-drink and lie about it. I really hate it, I'll drink, but not to excess and can go without for months still haven't finished a bottle of whiskey from 4 years ago!

Pam had a long history of binge-drinking which really started after she lost her long term partner.
I'm sure the alcohol didn't kill her...a blood clot on the brain , I suspect, was a result of the fall at midnight when she attempted to stand up, having been sleeping on the sofa for a couple of weeks.
I suspect the lack of prescribed medication led to heart-failure....gone over 6 years now, Only had 3 1/2 years together...and, yes, I did tell her that she was hurting me, by drinking and I'm sure that she'd stopped...but too late..... also known at least 3 who drunk themselves to death. sad.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#18 Post by OFSO » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:04 am

Sympathy, Steve. All very familiar from my friend here. The frustration we all feel in trying to help an alcoholic is awful. Trouble is its easy (but wrong) to blame oneself.

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#19 Post by Jetex Jim » Sat Nov 24, 2018 7:06 am

My goodness Steve that is a sad tale.

It illustrates very well, I think, how people can hit the wall of despair and seek the temporary oblivion of drink. All too often it can lead to permanent oblivion.

One wonders why the 'enablers', the people who bought booze for your Pam did so. Who do they think they were helping?

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Re: Helping a alcoholic

#20 Post by cockney steve » Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:40 pm

Thanks, folks. Yes, I had , what the Snowflakes would call "a deprived, hard, upbringing....but to us, it was normal. Being invited to a friend's house and eating with everybody sat down round a table and it all laid out, was a revelation! To us, our life was normal. I grew up having to be self-reliant and learned to paddle my own canoe , after my mum left my abusive, much older father when I was about 8 I could write a no-doubt fascinating and sordid autobiography and it'd get filed under "fiction" The neighbour was, it transpired, a serial spawner...she had 2 boys by different fathers and was cohabiting with a third...all were Eastern Bloc immigrants . She got evicted due her screaming at the kids in the early hours and fighting with the current "stud"...learned , just before she left, she was preggers again....well I let rip and tore her off a strip about her selfish stupidity as, yes, about a year later, no. 3 was ejected as he was yet another wife-beater who had been having other liaisons whilst they were our neighbours!. I also found she'd another 2 kids that were in foster-care ,having been removed.....the kicker? she was doing Psychiatry at Open University.!!! I suspect she encouraged Pam, as an excuse to drink, herself.

The other enabler wasn't the brightest bulb on the christmas tree, and probably didn't realise others were also supplying. I told them, too late because I found out, too late.
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