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NFT: Dealing with an alcoholic

Les in TO : 1/16/2020 2:08 pm
Does anyone have experience dealing with a family member or friend battling alcoholism? Were you able to get them help and if so how? Was an intervention facilitated by a professional successful?

We are dealing with a brutal situation where the individual refuses to get help and while weíd like to force them to go to rehab they are an adult. There are kids and a messy divorce exacerbating the issues.
I do  
Joey in VA : 1/16/2020 2:13 pm : link
Plenty of it and getting them to do it is incredibly difficult. I tried repeatedly for years to get my ex wife to go, and she and her family pushed her brother to go and neither did. They both ended up in jail on separate occasions, after being in accidents they both caused while drinking. My ex went for a week, had to go to ASAP, women's counseling and AA once it was court ordered and it literally did nothing, I just left eventually. She was violent, rage filled, loud mouthed and abusive when on booze and whatever pill was her choice of the month and she never owned up to any of it really. It was always someone else's fault.

I tried getting two people to go and failed miserably and lost years of my life fighting these two idiots until I gave up. It's worth the fight though, do everything you can to convince them, and for the love of God know where there keys are and take them when you can. Good Luck with it, I don't envy you.
Yes  
Jay on the Island : 1/16/2020 2:15 pm : link
I have a few family members who are alcoholics. My brother has had a lot of trouble in the past with alcohol and he has been to multiple rehab facilities. We did two separate interventions, one without a professional and one with, I would recommend hiring a professional. They will speak to each of you to determine your relationship and how each of you may or may not be hurting.

There is no guarantee that it will work the first time. My brother had issues for years but finally over the past two years he has been good for the first time in a long time.
And you  
PaulN : 1/16/2020 2:16 pm : link
To BBI for help, everyday I am amazed, this is not where you go for help under any circumstances, delete this thread or go through your life not being taken serious at all, do the dignity for your family.
I'm just glad that it's not opioids  
Jay on the Island : 1/16/2020 2:20 pm : link
A few friends from high school either died or ruined their lives on that shit.
RE: I do  
Capt. Don : 1/16/2020 2:23 pm : link
In comment 14782151 Joey in VA said:
Quote:
Plenty of it and getting them to do it is incredibly difficult. I tried repeatedly for years to get my ex wife to go, and she and her family pushed her brother to go and neither did. They both ended up in jail on separate occasions, after being in accidents they both caused while drinking. My ex went for a week, had to go to ASAP, women's counseling and AA once it was court ordered and it literally did nothing, I just left eventually. She was violent, rage filled, loud mouthed and abusive when on booze and whatever pill was her choice of the month and she never owned up to any of it really. It was always someone else's fault.

I tried getting two people to go and failed miserably and lost years of my life fighting these two idiots until I gave up. It's worth the fight though, do everything you can to convince them, and for the love of God know where there keys are and take them when you can. Good Luck with it, I don't envy you.


Unfortunately, very well said.
I have, and it is as difficult as Joey and others described  
Mike from Ohio : 1/16/2020 2:25 pm : link
If you love them, keep trying to help. But at some point you have to know that you can't force anyone to fight their own addiction. They have to eventually want to. Try to show them why they should want to, and how their behavior is impacting the people around them. But you may also have to be good about setting boundaries. The worst thing you can do is let their addiction drag you down. Once you begin resenting them it only gets worse.

Good luck to you Les!
Bottom line is unless  
Bubba : 1/16/2020 2:27 pm : link
they realize they have a problem there is little you can do. THEY HAVE to want to help themselves. The old saying about hitting rock bottom holds true in many cases unfortunately.
BTW having dealt with this  
Bubba : 1/16/2020 2:33 pm : link
most will tell you rehab does not always work. It is a quick fix and many relapse. The true proven way is AA BUT they have to go and buy into it. Even then relapses may occur but they are always welcome back with open arms. Don't give up hope but be aware it can be a life long battle.
Addicts have to help themselves  
Mattman : 1/16/2020 2:35 pm : link
My Brotherís ex wife, who he divorced because of these issues after years of trying, died the other day at 42. She fell and hit her head in the bathroom while drunk.
Some of my good friends became alcoholics  
RobCrossRiver56 : 1/16/2020 2:44 pm : link
Without going into gory details I'll say this. None of them would seek treatment or get help until they hit Rock Bottom. Rock Bottom was more or less Jail, wife left, car accident, evicted, lost job..
At that point, some wake up, get the help and become better people. Some don't and end up passing away way too young. At the end of the day it's their life, not yours and no matter how much it hurts there is only so much you can do.
I have an in-law with serious issues  
cjac : 1/16/2020 2:49 pm : link
i told my wife that the best case scenario is that she has a mid-day fender bender where no one gets hurt and the give her a breath-alizer. Because she will not listen to anyone. And this is after being in the hospital with lever issues.
It was drugs  
UConn4523 : 1/16/2020 2:50 pm : link
for my uncle and my mom eventually had to just cut off communication. Trying to help (talk, place to stay, money, etc) just didnít work. Had to just sever ties after everything else failed.

Not saying it will come to that, but itís likely. You may feel like you are failing him or feel badly for not helping but cutting ties can give him the wake up he needs. The worst thing the family can do is keep enabling (not on purpose of course but thatís what it ends up being when he knows no one is kicking him to the curb).
RE: And you  
ATL_Giants : 1/16/2020 2:51 pm : link
In comment 14782161 PaulN said:
Quote:
To BBI for help, everyday I am amazed, this is not where you go for help under any circumstances, delete this thread or go through your life not being taken serious at all, do the dignity for your family.
You are proving yourself to be a fucking moron.
Les, things can get better  
ATL_Giants : 1/16/2020 2:56 pm : link
Yes, I've plenty of personal experience with this issue. From what I've seen and learned, no intervention or recovery facility is going to get them to stop drinking. They have to want to stop drinking for themselves. The facilities and AA groups help alcoholics to see that.
Unfortunately, many don't get to that point until they've amassed a lot of wreckage in their lives.

I found it very helpful to not enable the alcoholic.
Be wary of any program of rehab you can get your  
BlueLou'sBack : 1/16/2020 2:59 pm : link
friend or family member to attend. Some are just bogus garbage... I imagine you'll do best with AA.

And nothing will work if the individual with the problem isn't fully committed to conquer his/her own situation.

Good luck Les.
I can offer no new advice  
pjcas18 : 1/16/2020 3:02 pm : link
other than if kids are in danger you should feel compelled to act and act freely without fear of hurting anyone's feelings or of damaging relationships.

they are the most obvious potential direct innocent victims.

If they donít want to stop drinking  
Vanzetti : 1/16/2020 3:08 pm : link
Rehab will not help

Even if they do want to stop, they usually relapse after rehab

My dad was a bad alcoholic. Died at 66. My brother is one too. Life kinda sucked for both of them and they were really only happy when drinking.

Ditto for a girl I dated. I really loved her but I could just tell from my family experience that no matter how much she said the right things, she was going to drink. Cuz she liked it. Didnít like the consequences or aftermath but she liked the wine when it was going down

My advice would be donít become preachy. Just let them know you are there for them, You canít do anything. Only they can
you have to try  
Amtoft : 1/16/2020 3:14 pm : link
do what you can, but ultimately until they get to the point of feeling they need to stop they most likely won't. That is why people say they have to hit rock bottom... so low they realize they need to do something. Good luck.
Rehab anecdote  
Vanzetti : 1/16/2020 3:15 pm : link
My dads wife, also a bad alcoholic, told me that the patients get out of Smithers at 6 am and that there is s bar across the street that opens at 6 am, and half the patients go straight to the bar

I've heard that showing a sober person a video of him  
Marty in Albany : 1/16/2020 3:16 pm : link
when he was drunk can make the person realize that he needs help.
I don't know if this is true, but it sounds like it might help.
Can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 1/16/2020 3:28 pm : link
My Mom struggled with alcohol for a lot of her life, but she got into a rehab & got her life back in order. She was a nasty drunk-always venting, threatening to call the police on my siblings & I, trying to leech off us, etc.

She was very spoiled growing up & thought she was entitled to a certain standard of life so her work ethic was horrific. Anyways, best of luck.
strongly suggest counseling  
fkap : 1/16/2020 3:32 pm : link
over rehab. rehab is mostly just a forced dry out with real help. folks tend to go in thinking it's some sort of magic panacea that is going to heal them. Recovery is healing yourself and learning tools to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. not all rehab centers are created equal, and it's a major undertaking/expense to go through and is seen as a major brick wall by those in need.

AA, outpatient, and counseling is more user friendly.


Also, counseling for those surrounding the substance abuser is helpful. It's amazing how many people have shitty skills/attitudes in a support role. There's the saying of leading a horse to water but can't make him drink, but many people don't know how to lead the horse to the trough.
Alternative to AA  
NewBlue : 1/16/2020 3:33 pm : link
This method is not for everybody but I know first hand of many people it has helped.
The simple concept is that if people know they have a drinking problem and the ONLY why to fix it is the AA method of never again have another drink, powerless over decision making, there is a fear to go from one extreme to the other.
MM provides an alternative theory, that IF you drink within the healthy guidelines and avoid dangers circumstances, you need not quit altogether.

The meetings are very effective, and if they dont work....AA is always there.
Link - ( New Window )
edit  
fkap : 1/16/2020 3:34 pm : link
rehab is a forced dry out with LITTLE real help
I have  
jpkmets : 1/16/2020 5:32 pm : link
And, ultimately, Iíve only seen change when the alcoholic decides the pain of using is greater than the fear of quitting

So sorry you are going through this. My only advice is set hard boundaries and walk away if they are breached. You do nothing to help them or you by cajoling, threatening, and ultimately relenting. Guard your sanity jealously.
.  
idiotsavant : 1/16/2020 5:47 pm : link
1. A.A.

maybe have a recovered friend bring the person to a meeting.

2. Face to face rule.

Otherwise it's hard to parse "discussing how to help " from malevolent gossip, side taking and excusing the other partners stuff .

Go to the person,

if you are able to do so lovingly and without judging the underlying person,
. and discuss face to face.

If you aren't able to take that approach then none of this is your business to start with
This is what A A. Is:  
idiotsavant : 1/16/2020 6:06 pm : link
Radical honesty without judgement .

There's really nowhere in life where people are as forthcoming with their own bullshit and crazy experiences as in A A

It's confidential . Nobody is pretending to be perfect or whole .

It's just that if one is drinking it's not likely that anything else will be healed ..

.and if one is using drugs the alcohol will follow soon.
Glad I saw this thread...  
Gmaniac1 : 1/16/2020 6:57 pm : link
... there is hope out there!

I am the husband of an alcoholic. My wife is the Real McCoy... a total 180 between her being active and her being in recovery.

No need to go into her whole story. Suffice it to say it involves lost jobs, awful family drama, brushes with the law, real jail time (months)... all of that and more.

What I can tell you is that she has 2+ years clean. Something was able to make a change... the break-through was the imminent threat of her being removed from her children, but the answer has been AA.

The miracle has come with her actually doing that program in a meaningful way.

I can tell you that I had all but lost hope. She was a liar on top of everything... the worst type. Totally untrustworthy. I couldn't see a way she could ever stick to sobriety day after day after day. But she has.

She is at an AA meeting as I write this, one where she has a very close knit group of friends. She sponsors and is active. And she has matured greatly... she doesn't just not use anymore, she has become a better person. It's a miracle, I say.

Hang in there, buddy. My best recommendation is AA... (and Al Anon for you and your family, for those who are willing).

It works if you work it... (cliche, I know, but damned if it hasn't been true for me and mine).
RE: strongly suggest counseling  
Gmaniac1 : 1/16/2020 7:08 pm : link
In comment 14782326 fkap said:
Quote:
over rehab. rehab is mostly just a forced dry out with real help. folks tend to go in thinking it's some sort of magic panacea that is going to heal them. Recovery is healing yourself and learning tools to help you achieve and maintain sobriety. not all rehab centers are created equal, and it's a major undertaking/expense to go through and is seen as a major brick wall by those in need.

AA, outpatient, and counseling is more user friendly.


Also, counseling for those surrounding the substance abuser is helpful. It's amazing how many people have shitty skills/attitudes in a support role. There's the saying of leading a horse to water but can't make him drink, but many people don't know how to lead the horse to the trough.

Not denying fkap's experience... just offering my own:

My wife needed to get away. She needed rehab. She has told me that she wouldn't have gotten straightened out otherwise... and I believe it.

That said: unfortunately, there are a lot of rehab's out there... and not all of them are good. A person has to get in connection with people who know and get good recommendations.

I can tell y'all that my wife went to The Ranch at Dove Tree in Texas. My family was fortunate to know someone in the recovery business and that was his recommendation to us... so I am happy to pass it along in this thread.
Yes  
TJ : 1/16/2020 7:15 pm : link
The only thing I'll add is that if the alcoholic cannot be convinced to do what is needed the rest of you will be faced with hard choices.

People who are in a relationship with an alcoholic/drug addict need to take care of themselves and may need to work to repair damage to their own lives caused by that relationship. Professional help or al-anon type therapy and possibly ending that relationship altogether are the kinds of choices you may all need to make.
Thanks  
Les in TO : 1/16/2020 10:34 pm : link
To all who shared their personal experiences and reccos
This. I had to hit rock bottom first before I wanted to change.  
DCGMan : 1/16/2020 10:57 pm : link
In comment 14782237 RobCrossRiver56 said:
Quote:
Without going into gory details I'll say this. None of them would seek treatment or get help until they hit Rock Bottom. Rock Bottom was more or less Jail, wife left, car accident, evicted, lost job..
At that point, some wake up, get the help and become better people. Some don't and end up passing away way too young. At the end of the day it's their life, not yours and no matter how much it hurts there is only so much you can do.


I was arrested and spent a night in jail. Shared a cell with 25 other guys for 24 hours. We all talked about our situations and 23/25 of us were in on substance abuse charges mostly alcohol but there were also heroin, opioid, meth, and cocaine abusers. One other guy was in allegedly on a false DV allegation by his drunk wife. The last guy had a weapons charge.

That was my personal wake up call, but I needed that personal trauma to want me to change after what had been 12 years abusing alcohol.

I went on a journey of personal discovery to get to the root causes of my drinking. Tried a shrink with limited results. A lot was self reflection and researching mental health topics. Once I was able to face these issues, I was able to eliminate the use of alcohol as a coping mechanism for other problems.

I canít vouch for any program. The courts ordered me to go through a couple. The online didnít help. The in-person alcohol program had limited personal value. AA is likely the first place to go. I believe most alcoholics understand they have a problem but donít have enough self respect or belief in themselves to want to change.

If those you care about donít want to or are not in a position to change, at least position yourself as someone to turn to upon hitting rock bottom. Hopefully, your friends/family members do have an epiphany. At that time, they will need to turn to someone. Itís hard for a person to reach out for help unless you completely trust them because of the personal shame.

Good luck to you, OP, and I hope your loved ones can find peace and recover.
Read the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous  
JerrysKids : 1/16/2020 11:41 pm : link
Read the following chapters. It will help you tremendously.
- Doctors Opinion
- Bill's Story
- There is a solution
- More about Alcoholism
The best thing you and all of your family can do is don't enable the Alcoholic, let them hit bottom and only help them when they are ready for help. Don't lend them money, give them a job, or a place to sleep. It is tough but in the end you have to let them get to a harsh bottom asap. Good luck my friend.
I highly recommend Al-Anon  
GiantsLaw : 1/17/2020 10:05 am : link
.
I would nitpick the "bottoming out"  
idiotsavant : 1/17/2020 10:46 am : link
Thing.

It's said that one can "get off the elevator at any floor".

Of course it's frustrating, if course the person needs to choose to change , but that choice could come at any moment , he/she doesn't need to be living in a dumpster before making the choice. Each person is different .
True  
idiotsavant : 1/17/2020 10:49 am : link
There are some people in A.A. who weren't even alcoholics . Ok, so what.

And some who were, are now sober, but still assholes. So what.

There are also plenty who are lovely folks who have meaningful wonderful lives and who have stayed sober due to A.A.



Consider the whole picture too...  
WideRight : 1/17/2020 11:10 am : link
The kids and the messy divorce will also need therapeutic intervention at the same time.

From afar it seems possible that ther's alot of triggering going on. Put the alcoholic through rehab and return him to the same enviroment and your likely to have the same problems. Conversely, address the family situation and the severity of the drinking may be more manageable.
Or both  
idiotsavant : 1/17/2020 11:29 am : link
It's all in the attitude. Separate bedrooms and mutual respect can go a lot farther than lawyers and the state.

But sobriety is often a first step.

Our legal system is predicated on enmity first, oppositional by nature.

If there is more going on than the drinking it often makes things worse.
For example  
idiotsavant : 1/17/2020 11:42 am : link
In addition to A.A. (your place of worship if you have one, for mediation and counseling in the family even if not together)
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