Dealing with Family members with Alcohol Addiction

1971CamaroGuy

LS Swapped 1971 Camaro
Oct 31, 2004
3,869
Two of my BF's from HS were in this situation.

One I took to Rehab a few times and I know he went more times. Tried AA, nothing has worked. His wife of 40+ years divorced him, he has very little contact with his daughters, etc. I gave up trying to help him if he didn't want to help himself.

the other I saw at my last HS Reunion and didn't recognize him. He died a few months later

Yeah, that sucks...I don't understand why people choose booze over everything else.
 

Gary S

Administrator
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 14, 1999
24,586
Bismarck, North Dakota
Addictions are an attempt to escape from reality. You won't get through life without some stressful situations. How you deal with them determines how you will live. If you choose an addiction to hide from the stresses in life, you go down the bad road. If you have the inner strength to take the stresses head on, you take the good road.
 

Coadster32

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 2, 2013
2,346
Milford,CT
That is a tough spot, but seems like it's all out of your hands. Your dad isn't much help here for sure. Your brother may never hit rock bottom if dad is always there for him, doing the things he is doing. I feel for you.

I tried to help an old friend get off crack when I was younger. That's when I learned that if someone doesn't want to change, I can't help them. My brother got into a lot of stuff when he was younger as well. Crashed up cars, fights, stealing from family, living in his car at the rest stop on the highway, etc. He's out of the drug scene now, but still has a drinking issue. He was a smoker until he got a set of false teeth, and that made him quit. Unfortunately, that just made the drinking worse. I can't help him with that. His wife doesn't do much to stop him, as her thought is that it is a lesser evil. It is tough to sit back and watch it I have to admit for certain, but know that I can't let it beat me up. Sometimes I feel guilty showing him stuff around our house, or stuff I've done to the car. He's a mechanic and can appreciate the work, but don't want to seem like I'm showing off what he can't have either. He did make his bed, but sad to see.
 

dcozzi

Veteran Member
May 1, 2002
4,593
Phoenix, AZ
Addictions are an attempt to escape from reality. You won't get through life without some stressful situations. How you deal with them determines how you will live. If you choose an addiction to hide from the stresses in life, you go down the bad road. If you have the inner strength to take the stresses head on, you take the good road.

That is a great explanation of an addict.
It also is a great explanation of life in general. I tell my son all the time, it is harder to do the right thing than the wrong one. Whether it is saying something nice instead of mean, being active instead of lazy or working to your potential instead of taking short cuts or doing nothing at all. When a person does the right thing, it is initially more difficult but always rewards you with self esteem and pride. It also creates a personal lifestyle that rewards you along the way, further contributing to your pride and self-image. A side effect is becoming a person that others respect and admire. Not such a bad thing.
Unfortunately, some people do not have that inner strength built into them and is hard even for those that do.
 

Zstar

Veteran Member
Mar 23, 2014
3,041
Ocala, Florida
Yeah that's the thing, when my dad called me back, he simply said my brothers "issue" was his sugar was 84 and he was running to sonic to get him a blast, then blamed the smell and actions on his sugar not being right. Said he had this same issue when he got pulled over for DUI and the cop thought he was drunk......that doesn't make any sense, because when he got pulled over, they checked his blood alcohol level and he ended up losing his license for a while.

Makes me feel like I am going crazy, I know what I smelled and seen. I left that box, with the xbox I got from him yesterday in my truck overnight sealed.....I got in this morning and you can smell whiskey, it's faint...but you can smell it. Even had my wife check and she could smell it too.

I want to help, but there's nothing I can do, my bro doesn't want to admit he has a problem...and dad is covering for him.

At this point, if you don't wash your hands and walk away, it will put YOU in an early grave. I had a situation where I could not care enough for both of us, and had to walk away. I hated it, but I needed to take care of me.
 

GoldenOne7710

Equal Opportunity Offender
Lifetime Gold Member
Jun 23, 2004
5,707
Athens, GA
I've been through it with family too...twice. My oldest brother drank himself to death. Dropped dead just 2 weeks shy of his 49th b'day. He was one of those who was good as gold when he was sober....which wasn't often. He was going through a fifth to a liter every day. He was one stubborn SOB about it too.

My father-in-law was the other. He ended up in the with salmonella. After 2 days, he went into delirium tremens (DT's). That alone nearly killed him. That was hard to witness. After those 2 days of zero alcohol, his BAC was still 3X the legal limit. Just a few years later, about the time he agreed to cut WAY back to just a 6 pack of beer a day, he developed alchohol induced dementia...and went down hill fast. From his diagnosis to death was less than 20 months. THAT was just as hard to witness as the DT's.

I worked part time at a liquor store about 8 years ago. You don't realize exactly how many people have a problem until you start seeing the same faces buying the same bottle over and over and over. Some of these faces were well known in the community and some well known throughout the region. It was a real eye opener for me.
 

TTR230

Veteran Member
Aug 1, 2020
652
Burlington, Ontario
I've been through it with family too...twice. My oldest brother drank himself to death. Dropped dead just 2 weeks shy of his 49th b'day. He was one of those who was good as gold when he was sober....which wasn't often. He was going through a fifth to a liter every day. He was one stubborn SOB about it too.

My father-in-law was the other. He ended up in the with salmonella. After 2 days, he went into delirium tremens (DT's). That alone nearly killed him. That was hard to witness. After those 2 days of zero alcohol, his BAC was still 3X the legal limit. Just a few years later, about the time he agreed to cut WAY back to just a 6 pack of beer a day, he developed alchohol induced dementia...and went down hill fast. From his diagnosis to death was less than 20 months. THAT was just as hard to witness as the DT's.

I worked part time at a liquor store about 8 years ago. You don't realize exactly how many people have a problem until you start seeing the same faces buying the same bottle over and over and over. Some of these faces were well known in the community and some well known throughout the region. It was a real eye opener for me.

My buddy is an electrical engineer with an automation company that supports the bottle maker for Coors, I think. He was allowed to travel to plants all over the states from Canada as a "essential worker". One day i asked him what's "essential" about alcohol manufacturing, but I guess the sheer amount of people that would go into serious and dangerous withdrawal without access to alcohol is too significant. Made me glad I'm not a drinker.
 

72'z'steve

Veteran Member
Oct 15, 2000
1,828
waukesha wi usa
I had an aunt that would bury her booze bottles in the back yard so the trashman wouldn't know how much she drank- so sad. I wish you the best others have pretty much summed up anything I could say-Steve :(
 

1971CamaroGuy

LS Swapped 1971 Camaro
Oct 31, 2004
3,869
Just to rehas this thread with an update...brother has had 13 stints, two ballons and will be going back to get two-three more stints in his remaining leg next week. He still hasn't quite drinking and has beeing going back and forth about all the stints and joking about it and making light of the situation...said the doctors told him he will start feeling better, but not sure...

so I took that as a window to send this reply to him:

"The only way you'll feel better is if you quit smoking, drinking, eat healthier, regulate your insulin and become more active......otherwise you'll be right where you were at again in a few years or even worse, you won't make it to 50 years old.

But I am sure the doctors already told you that. You got lucky this time, most people would have already been dead.

Sure that's hard to hear, but that is the reality of the situation, the ball is in your court weather you want to live or not. Your in the situation your in right now because of years of life choices.

I hope you are able to finally get a hold of this, only time will tell and today is a new day.."


It took him, a day to reply and this is what I got from him.....

"I dont expect to make it to 46. It's all good."

So yeah, he's made his life choices, and this is always the kind of attitude we get when someone confronts him about his drinking, he gets defensive and plays the pity card, instead of manning up and dealing with his issues.
 

BillyDean7173

Final Six
May 21, 2014
3,498
Hutto, TX
Sounds like he's given up. You did what you could, but as said before, you can't help someone who won't help themselves. So be it. Ask him if he's made his funeral arrangements.
Strange how some people don't care if they live or die and others would do anything to have one more day with loved ones.
 




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