What to do with an out of control alcoholic family member????

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  • What to do with an out of control alcoholic family member????
  • project
    Member

    Its tough, but ignore her, tell her she needs treatment, just like someone with a broken arm needs treatment, there are plenty of referal services out there ,but basicly its her life choice and her way of life , and change needs to come from her.

    By ignoreing her she may well take the trigger to move her life on

    Until she decides to try to stop drinking,you are not going to have any luck here.She is showing signs or a major dependency on alcohol,her health sounds as though it is deteriorating,and she will continueto behave like this until something makes her decide to stop,or she dies.It maybe worth discussing her with her GP,and getting social workers involved,especially if she starts harrassing your wifes grandmother.You have all my sympathy,this is a horrible situation to be in,and rarely ends well.
    Ian

    There is a lot to be said for project’s suggestion,but in my experience caring families can seldom bring themselves to do this.

    hora
    Member

    Dont give her money.

    Give her support not critism.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    Dont give her money.

    Give her support not critism.
    That’s not going to make much difference. She’s frankly beyond help (IMHO) and she’s stil got touching £100k in the bank from the proceeds of the divorce. Ironically, she’s far more cash rich than the rest of the family who are at their wit’s end with her.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    Project; she’s been told and told, until we are blue in the face. We arrranged a private residential detox for her, which she could easily afford, but as soon as she heard the cost, she rejected it out of hand, prefering to piss it up the wall instead.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    GP is aware, he/we arranged an acute admission to a medical ward as a direct result of an unintentional withdrawl when this all kicked off. She successfully detoxed, came out sober, and went straight to wetherspoon’s without even thinking about where she would be sleeping that night. This woman consistently[/i] completely fails to take any responsibility for her own actions.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    You could easily invest a lot more time, effort and above all, emotional energy into trying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped – all with no positive result.

    Speaking to her GP may be a decent step, try to get her to have some liver function tests done – ideally she needs to be shocked into wanting to give up, and then you can rally round and help her make it happen.

    Intractable alcoholism is no reflection on the quality of support you’ve all already given her. At the end of the day, unless she wants to break the dependency, it’s likely that nothing you will do will influence her behaviour.

    Good luck.

    EDIT: Seen your reply about the GP. It’s tough when there are not many options left except waiting and hoping for an opportunity to step in and make a difference.

    Junkyard
    Member

    Unless she wants to help herself sadly there is little you can do

    I feel for you though

    Premier Icon transporter13
    Subscriber

    I have a family member who I have pretty much disowned due to this.
    Although they must be superhuman at the same time as has a family(grown up) and holds down a full time care job.

    Got very defensive the last time we spoke so I choose not to bother.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    Unless she wants to help herself sadly there is little you can do

    I think the family are rapidly realising this; the problem now is how to protect the grandmother from her daughter. She often turns up in the early hours of the morning, bladdered and weeping, pleading to be let in. This is very hard for The grandmother not to do, but results in her house being treated like a dosshouse, with similar aroma. People have been staying around there when they can, but it’s always the night that no one can stay that it all kicks off. The police have been less than 100% helpful (although I sympathise with their situation) I think attempting to guilt an 80+ old lady who lives on her own to let a nightmare unpredictable alcoholic stay at her house is a little out of order…

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Try as we might to support an alcoholic mate, he would always take a drink instead of a chat.

    He was on 130 units a week, almost a litre of Scotch and coke a day for ages. A relentless downward spiral of bitterness and hate where the world apparently owed him big time.

    It took two collapses, one almost fatal, before he realised that there may be a better way. He just did the self imposed cold turkey, had two tough initial weeks then moved on to a self rationed 2.5 units a day for the last two years.

    This and experience with our alcoholic neighbour of 54 and his long suffering mum of 73 who took him in “to sort him out” after a drink fuelled marriage collapse. In this case it was years of deceit, lies, hospital visits and support for his mum. She fitted a lock to the outside of his bedroom to lock him in and one to the inside of her room to keep him out. The event that changed him was loosing it on a whisky and vodka bender and attacking his mum in her bed. The trigger was the date of what would have been his wedding aniversary… We worked with the family to remove him and this event dried him out but she was hospitalised and died of MRSA…

    Sorry if its a long post but unless the realisation is there to change its a tough one, I’m not an alcoholic recovery professional but I’m with project on this one, tough as it may seem, perhaps to save the Aunt from destroying your family.

    I let my mate get on with it but was there in the really bad times and after his collapses, and subsequent recovery, I have the real person back.

    I just think that these two events needed a major life event to gain that realisation to change… unless the realisation is like that of Nick Cage in “Leaving Las Vegas” of course.

    Its a tough one and I really hope it works out for you all… full blown alcoholism is a nightmare for families. Feel for you..

    It may be worth contacting social services and referring grandmother under the safeguarding adults scheme,they are required to have a strategy in place for this BUT their response may be to place grandmother in a place of safety,and I doubt you want her removing from her house because of her daughter.

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    My wife’s 59 year old aunt is a nightmare. she got divorced about two years ago when her long suffering husband could no longer cope with her drinking and resulting behavior. She then fell in with an alcoholic bloke who is in a similar situation, and all was quiet while they quietly drank themselves into a stupor. Now that relationship appears to have run it’s course and has disintegrated into messy chaos that has resulted in her making herself homeless and turning up on my wifes elderly and pleasantly confused grandmothers door step on several occasions. This obviously isn’t a satisfactory state of afairs, and considerable effort has been put into trying to assist the woman in getting a place to live, a detox, a life… But she consistently chooses the next drink over friends family and even a bed for the night. She has now wet herself in peoples cars, on grans sofa and bed, and in taxis. as a result, she is rapidly becoming very well known and very unwelcome around our small town.

    Has anyone had a similar experience that they’d be happy to share? Ideas suggestions, voices of support would be very welcome at this point…

    TuckerUK
    Member

    My heart bleeds for you.

    My friends heart bleeds for you.

    My friend’s sister is the same. Unfortunately after her divorce she bought a house with my her 85 year old mother. The mother feels partiality responsible, and won’t consider moving out and selling up. They live in a small village, so everyone has either seen my his sister collapsed in the street, or they know someone that has. The house stinks of piss.

    Good luck.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    I’ve been trying to “fix” my Dad for almost 20 years… 🙁

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    I think the family are rapidly realising this; the problem now is how to protect the grandmother from her daughter.

    TJD has a good point and as a ‘vulnerable adult’ she should have protection. That may take the form of banning her Daughter from her house if she has been drinking but in any case should not result her Mother being taken to a place of safety if she is capable of looking after herself.

    The point was made above re Police not being able to help much but in reality, there is very little they can do in this situation and TBH it really isn’t their job. Problem is that in many of these situations there just isn’t the funding or resources to adequately treat people and the Police and my lot (ambulance) end up picking up the pieces and trying to get some help via an already over-stretched A+E dept. Even then, it is usually a temporary measure and I see the same faces again and again, many of whom have walked out of rehab or failed with other options time after time.

    As has been pointed out repeatedly above, they have to need/want to help themselves and I would concentrate on making sure your Wife’s Grandmother is protected. Good luck.

    smell_it
    Member

    It may be worth contacting social services and referring grandmother under the safeguarding adults scheme

    I would think the key to this would be has granny got the mental capacity to make an informed choice on whether she lets drunk aunty in. This would be based on the impairment that results in her being pleasantly confused. If she has capacity but just feels obliged, emotionally blackmail, then there are times none of us make the wisest decisions.
    In terms of removing granny, this would only be if she lacked capacity and was being put at risk of significant harm. Unpleasant as having someone slash on your sofa is, it’s not significant harm. But if aunt gets threatening, nicks stuff etc then there are other ways to look to stop this via harassment laws, restraining orders, before anyone would look to drag granny off. There is no harm in a referral, even if it only gets you as far as discussing the legalities of the situation, most of the social workers i’ve come across seem pretty sensible on these matters. The main gripe with them usually is that their view of significant risk tends to be a lot higher than most families would like to see vulnerable loved ones live with.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Agree with the comments about protecting the Grandmother who perhaps is seen as a soft touch by the Aunt and try to avoid collateral damage…

    Premier Icon Woody
    Subscriber

    The main gripe with them usually is that their view of significant risk tends to be a lot higher than most families would like to see vulnerable loved ones live with.

    Agreed and ‘significant risk’ would normally take the form of threats of violence, bullying or fiduciary matters, although a house stinking of piss and turning up late and drunk could be deemed as causing unacceptable levels of distress and anguish.

    The OP says she has turned up ‘a few times’! Where does she stay the rest of the time if she is homeless? If it’s ‘anywhere she ends up’ I can guarantee that the £100k will deplete very rapidly (alcoholics have a very good nose for finding like minded individuals who have the means to buy more drink) and she’ll be knocking on doors for money as well as a bed. Let’s hope it doesn’t get as far as that 🙁

    smell_it
    Member

     although a house stinking of piss and turning up late and drunk could be deemed as causing unacceptable levels of distress and anguish.

    Agreed, the cumulative effect of lesser risks can build up. It might be worth building up a diary of events to help evidence this, as all agencies can be a bit blinkered to this and just look at a ‘snapshot’ of risk.

    Premier Icon niloC
    Subscriber

    Went through this with my brother in law, it didn’t end well! he refused to believe he had a problem, he put his mother in hospital, served time for it and has now drunk himself to death with liver failure, alone!

    You can be caring and supportive as you like, BUT if they don’t want it!

    I hope it works out for you and your family

    patriotpro
    Member

    Aswell as some of to above, it sounds like she needs a slap.

    Premier Icon CHB
    Subscriber

    I have first hand experience of this. Unless it was a VERY close family member I would just let them get on with their own merry demise. The number of alcoholics that turn themselves around is very low.

    hels
    Member

    Does your grannie’s house have any outbuildings ? In terms of a practical compromise solution she could always leave a shed unlocked with a camp bed and a couple of buckets, some fresh water. Then she isn’t leaving the lady out on the street and perhaps waking up there might help her realise how low she has got. But £100k in the bank is a hell of a lot of enabling so she may never stop drinking.

    chewkw
    Member

    CHB – Member

    I have first hand experience of this. Unless it was a VERY close family member I would just let them get on with their own merry demise. The number of alcoholics that turn themselves around is very low.

    ^^^ This. A colleague of mine drank himself to death in about 3 years. All possible help given but none taken. He did not want to live as far as we know because he was grieving for his departed partner.

    or

    To manage the situation this …

    hels – Member

    Does your grannie’s house have any outbuildings ? In terms of a practical compromise solution she could always leave a shed unlocked with a camp bed and a couple of buckets, some fresh water.

    Either way you will have several years of headache.

    😐

    patriotpro – Member
    Aswell as some of to above, it sounds like she needs a slap.

    Tbh, you’ve always seemed like the kind of guy who’d happily administer one wherever you felt needed. Awesome.

    hora
    Member

    Depressingly (slightly OT) how many of us can be classed as functioning alcoholics? Basically bordering, just one tragic or emotional event away to push our drinking up one notch?

    Just saying. We can ALL be in the Aunts position so dont demonise her.

    v8ninety – in your initial post, you describe almost word-for-word how my MIL has been for the last 4 years, down to the failed marriage, abusive relationship with another drinker, losing her home, wetting herself in public, etc.

    We tried absolutely everything possible to help her, and in the end we cut her off. Completely. It was painful for my wife, because it was her mum, but a sweet blessing for me not having to see my wife so upset all the time.

    As other family members followed our lead, the responsibility of looking after her/sorting out her mess slowly became spread out over fewer people, and they quickly followed suit until in the end she was entirely on her own.

    This appears to have been the wake-up call she needed. We’re taking things VERY slowly, having been let down many times in the past, but she really does appear to have regained some control of her life. My wife has seen her twice in the last month, and both times my MIL has been her “old” self, i.e. the good one. Baby steps and all that.

    Basically, despite thinking you can maybe make a difference, there is really nothing you can do if the person doesn’t want to be helped. They have to personally experience rock-bottom and then make a decision at that time. My wife works with rehabilitation of criminals with substance abuse issues and says there is absolutely nothing harder than working with alcoholics. She does it for a living and failed to help her mum even with all her training and resources, so as hard as it may be don’t feel bad if you and your family can’t help your wife’s aunt and have to walk away. It was the only thing that we did that had a positive outcome for all involved.

    project
    Member

    Project; she’s been told and told, until we are blue in the face. We arrranged a private residential detox for her, which she could easily afford, but as soon as she heard the cost, she rejected it out of hand, prefering to piss it up the wall instead.

    Posted 7 hours ago # Report-Post
    v8ninety – Member
    GP is aware, he/we arranged an acute admission to a medical ward as a direct result of an unintentional withdrawl when this all kicked off. She successfully detoxed, came out sober, and went straight to wetherspoon’s without even thinking about where she would be sleeping that night. This woman consistently completely fails to take any responsibility for her own actions.

    She is beyond your help and advice,

    SHE NEEDS TO WORK HER PROBLEMS OUT ALONE, WITH NO ONE TO CARE FOR HER, TO PICK HER UP, TO SAY NICE THINGS TO HER.

    Only then may she come down to reqlise what she has put you all through, its a tough world dont make it tougher on your family,youll regret it if you dont part ways now with her.

    hels
    Member

    Hora:

    Well, no I don’t think most people’s drinking could be considered on the way towards alcoholism, and I have thought about this a lot, my first dad was an alcoholic so worth keeping an eye on myself. (or maybe he wasn’t, in later life now I know more I wonder if perhaps he was bi-polar and self medicated, but that’s another sad story)

    The DSM-IV lays down the criteria for alcohol abuse and dependency, and it’s a lot higher than having a few beers of a weekend, or cracking a bottle of wine at the end of a hard week.

    Link here

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44358/

    If you think you meet any of this get yourself down to the GP !

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    She is beyond your help and advice,
    SHE NEEDS TO WORK HER PROBLEMS OUT ALONE, WITH NO ONE TO CARE FOR HER, TO PICK HER UP, TO SAY NICE THINGS TO HER.
    Only then may she come down to reqlise what she has put you all through, its a tough world dont make it tougher on your family,youll regret it if you dont part ways now with her.

    Personally and privately, this is my opinion. I’m not sure that the rest of the family can bring themselves to face it yet, but it’s coming. What’s more pressing is protecting the Grandmother, and impressing on her that the aunt should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES be let into the house.

    Loving the camp bed in the shed idea though, I will actually suggest that as a possible halfway house fix…

    Premier Icon v8ninety
    Subscriber

    And thank you everyone for your input on this, I’ve read every post and it’s put some new slants on things for us.

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    Depressingly (slightly OT) how many of us can be classed as functioning alcoholics? Basically bordering, just one tragic or emotional event away to push our drinking up one notch?

    Very few I would have thought. It my drinking doubled I’d be having 4-5 pints a week, for instance.
    I tried it once, in my 20s. I was bored and lonely working away from home. I bought 2l cheap cider, got drunk, woke with a hangover feeling like crap and never bothered again.

    yunki
    Member

    What to do with an out of control alcoholic family member????

    go out on the piss with them would probably be the logical answer..

    I’ve often found out of control alcoholics to be quite entertaining.. infinitely more entertaining than my more sober family members anyhoo..

    and a good alcy rarely trusts the judgement of anyone that isn’t prepared to take a few drinks with them..

    Premier Icon lowey
    Subscriber

    I speak from bitter experience.

    Some good advise here.

    no one can help until the person finds their own personal rock bottom. Unless they are willing to acknowledge that they are there… and then embrace help… your wasting your time.

    Step away and be prepared to watch them die.

    Held my brothers hand as he breathed his last… he never found his rock bottom.. some do, some dont. But never let yourself be drawn into trying to help them unless they have been there… otherwise you will find yourself holding that hand…. as it goes cold.

    hora
    Member

    hels before I click on the link I thought ‘this is going to be me’. Surprised that I’m none of those criteria. Although I do like a drink it doesn’t take me long to get tipsy. (Sorry for the O/T OP).

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    .It maybe worth discussing her with her GP,and getting social workers involved,

    This. Also, when the process is underway, have Granny live with you and lock her house up. That way, when dipso comes around, there’s someone strong enough to say “no”.

    FWIW.

    GP would probably not discuss aunty’s condition due to confidentiality. But in terms of protection for Granny, might be worth getting the social workers involved.

    From experience nobody with a drink problem is going to get help/stop unless they want to. My ex-stepdad was an alcoholic, my mum got rid of him about 10 years ago, he took up with someone else, but she died of cancer and he then hit it big time. After a health crisis he managed 2 years of abstinence, during which time him and my mum sort of got back together for a bit, but then he started to drink again, my mum walked, he went back to his old ways and died of liver failure. Not pretty.

    Most alcoholics will need to accept that they cannot touch alcohol, ever, in order to stay recovered. This is a very difficult thing to accept for the majority of alcoholics who have learned to cope using alcohol as a crutch. Most alcoholics will think that at some point they can return to drinking “normally” but this is rarely the case.

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