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Any Advice for Helping an Alcoholic?

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posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 07:10 AM
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I'm from a family of alcoholics. My dad, God rest his soul. My oldest brother, a sister, and a brother that's 4 years older than me and my son. I can tell you without any prejudice that until they want help. none will come. THEY/HE has to want to be sober. Have to want it as bad as life itself. Until they want it..........nothing you ever do or try is gonna work. Nothing. Alcohol is an insidious drug, legal, readily available and pretty cheap. Good luck in your venture...but if you fail....understand that it's normal.




posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

'mornin B....The statement "I think I can help him"..is wonderful, but you really can't. You can guide, advise, try to nuture him, encourage him....but ultimately...it's on the person themselves.

I've had a lot of experience with guiding, winning and losing with
alcoholics...mostly losing.

They have a mentality at that point where they are either daily functionally drunk or high..or so out of it...they can be near death. The brain chemistry changes extensively...at times you just can't get thru to them...even when you think you are and they are agreeing with you.

God bless you for trying...just realize it's ultimately up to them...either with hospitalization, intervention or self-realization.

But, don't stop trying..and don't feel responsible if you can't get thru. It won't be your fault...

Keep us all updated...Best, MS



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 07:44 AM
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posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 08:28 AM
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originally posted by: openyourmind1262
I'm from a family of alcoholics. My dad, God rest his soul. My oldest brother, a sister, and a brother that's 4 years older than me and my son. I can tell you without any prejudice that until they want help. none will come. THEY/HE has to want to be sober. Have to want it as bad as life itself. Until they want it..........nothing you ever do or try is gonna work. Nothing. Alcohol is an insidious drug, legal, readily available and pretty cheap. Good luck in your venture...but if you fail....understand that it's normal.


Thank you -- I am prepared for that possibility. I don't like it -- but it is what it is. I am encouraged that he has reached out and indicated he wants to change. I'm just figuring out the best way to go about this for his best chance of success. But it is up to him ultimately.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 08:41 AM
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originally posted by: mysterioustranger
a reply to: Boadicea

'mornin B....The statement "I think I can help him"..is wonderful, but you really can't. You can guide, advise, try to nuture him, encourage him....but ultimately...it's on the person themselves.

I've had a lot of experience with guiding, winning and losing with alcoholics...mostly losing.


Bless your heart for trying and being there for them. In your experience, is there a preferable time or place or anything to approach them? My son suggested he invite him for dinner, and we all talk to him at dinner. I also wondered about going over in the morning and rousting him and taking him for breakfast or coffee to talk. I've wondered if I should talk to his parents first, or maybe just give them the information and local resources I've found. I don't want him to feel ambushed, but I also know there's value in group intervention as well. A formal intervention would have to involve his parents and professionals I would think though.


But, don't stop trying..and don't feel responsible if you can't get thru. It won't be your fault...

Keep us all updated...Best, MS


Will do -- and thank you again.
edit on 3-8-2018 by Boadicea because: formatting



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 08:42 AM
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a reply to: Boadicea

Recovering alcoholic here.

One of the biggest obstacles to getting sober is the withdrawls. If you're the type of alcoholic I was, you have to drink round the clock to keep withdrawls at bay. And if you're as far gone as I was, DT's are a real possibility and one can die from them.

People say that alcoholics won't change unless they want to, and that's basically true, but it's difficult to know what you want when your only thought, your every goal every second, is to stay drunk and keep the flood of thoughts and emotions at bay and even more, to keep the withdrawls at bay. Alcoholics can actually function better with booze in their system, if they're far enough gone in the progression of the disease, than when the alcohol level in their blood is dropping.

So the most helpful thing you can do is get him to some place where he can be medically detoxed. I'd you can find a place where they will keep him and give him medications to ease the withdrawls, and I'm talking benzos here, he will be more likely to get sober. Because he can't even think clearly or know what he wants while he is still fueled with booze.

I went to a local detox- a friend said to me one day "Do you want to go to Detox?" and I said yes (was drunk of course- or, trying to stay drunk/stave off withdrawls) and he got me into a local facility that day, which was smart because I would have changed my drunk mind had he waited.

There they gave me Ativan (a benzodiazapene) and monitored me closely while I withdrew, and they also allowed me to take Trazadone at night, which is a drug that can be used for insomnia. It's safe for alcoholics becUse it's not an opiate or addictive.

I wanted more Ativan, but they gave me just enough to keep the incredible anxiety down and to slow down the racing heart and circular thoughts that come with alcohol withdrawl. This is important! Because benzos are VERY addictive and alcoholics can just get off of booze and go straight to being addicted to benzos.

Interventions are pretty awful, I think. The alcoholic feels like crap about himself already. I think it's rare for those things to actually result in someone getting sober.

Your best bet is to research facilities and detox centers ahead of time. Find out where you can take him locally where they will medically detox him (give him medication for the withdrawl symptoms). Find out when their next bed is available, and on that day, ask him if he wants to go to detox, tell him about the medical withdrawl he'll be able to get, and if he says anything close to yes, take him right then.

Check into detox centers run by your county. Usually they will accept a patient for detox and then release them to a longer sobriety program if they think it's needed (rehab, for a month usually) or will release him home, but either way, the only chance he has is if he gets through thise withdrawls first.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 08:42 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain

Thank you for the video!

I'll give it a watch after I get through these responses...



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: KansasGirl

Thank you, KS -- and congratulations on your sobriety! I am appreciating more what a challenge and achievement that is. Good for you and brightest blessings!

I'm glad you shared your thought's on intervention. I've been hesitant to go that route, mostly because I'm afraid he'll feel ambushed or ganged up on and withdraw even further into his shell.

I did find a place that does detox. I seriously doubt he has insurance right now though. He lost his job a while ago apparently, and he's too old for his parents' insurance plan. I know of a couple resources that may be able to help pay for it though. I'm going to check those out today.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:12 AM
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originally posted by: redletter
a reply to: Boadicea

I found what helped me when I wanted to drink was to have a cup of coffee or a coca-cola handy. The coke made me gain a few pounds. But just worked that off in a few months anyway.


That's a great idea -- thank you! We can make sure he has plenty of diversionary or substitute foods/drinks on hand. At this point, he needs to put on weight, so I'm not worried about that (for now anyway!). He once enjoyed cooking, and he was pretty good. Focusing on healthy foods and healthy eating in general might also be a good substitute for thinking about drinking.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:18 AM
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a reply to: cancerslug


i would seek out detox programs with in driving distances. there are free and low cost ones but even the real expensive treatment centers sometimes have scholarship programs.


Thank you!! I did find a detox center close to his home, but I've been worried about the costs. I'm hoping to find some help to pay for it, if that's the route he wants to go. But I didn't know there were even free ones. I'll look into that more today.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:25 AM
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a reply to: Reverbs


That's all I got.


That's a lot -- thank you!

I wish he could have gone straight into detox or some kind of rehab coming out of the hospital. He already had a good head start at that point. And perhaps most open to it emotionally/mentally at that point too -- or maybe not. There's too much I just don't know at this point.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:33 AM
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Also, take any advice with a grain of salt...especially if the person giving it is not an alcoholic.

Earlier I tried to stress how I did not feel ready. Also I didn’t believe it would work or that any other possibility existed for me.

Plenty of people had given up on me, and perhaps that factored in to my action of finally going. But to me only in the sense that I was tired of all the loss, pain, and dysfunction.

For me, it was really just being willing to give it a try. I got a sponsor right away and got honest. I drank at 30 days and then started over. What I learned from that in hindsight is that there is a Higher force that keeps me sober if I quit trying to do all the proverbial driving. I had a complete psychic change and no longer have the impulse to drink since about 6-months in. It’s inexplicable, aside from the fact I was doing what was suggested I do to stay sober and build a spiritual connection.

But initially, I didn’t believe in myself or AA or Higher Power/God, think it would work, feel like “I want to get sober” or anything that you would think should be present at the start of someone getting sober.

People mean well, they just haven’t experienced what seemed to me like magic.

I’ve seen people go to recovery forced by the courts, family, etc- most leave upon fulfilling that duty, but now and then someone will stay. The ones that stay are the ones that let go of preconceived notion, get in the middle of the pack, start working through their bs with a sponsor. It really is that simple


Instead of assuming they won’t accept help if t”they are not ready” or “don’t want it bad enough” we can all pray that they hear or see something while they are there that inspires curiosity or disarming.

Praying for good!



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:34 AM
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originally posted by: TheConstruKctionofLight
a reply to: Boadicea

First things first - we were told that the you have to make the first step'

(he) must "Admit you have a problem"
AA meetings as many as possible in 1st few weeks
Sponsor who will help him by being available to talk at all times
Avoid places where alcohol used

PS first 12 months are the hardest...Tell him it does get easier, "one day at a time"

PS Its an admirable job youre doing



That first step is so important, isn't it? I think he has made it. At least he reached out to my son for the first time, and says he is "broken." As long as he wants to fix it too, we're on our way...

I'm very hopeful and optimistic for the AA meetings. My gut tells me he would respond well to the support from people in the same position. People who know some of the same demons he knows. I know I can't be that person for him.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd


You can't help him, nor can your son or his parents. You are too close and may be 'part of the problem'.


I hadn't thought of that. You may be right. There's a reason that we haven't known until now...


I would suggest Alanon Family groups for his parents in the mean time.


Wow. I didn't even think about that. Thank you! I'm sure his parents can use some some support and resources for dealing with this as well. I know it can't be easy for them. I will check into Alanon for them today as well.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: oloufo

I'm so sorry -- what hell that must have been for you.

But thank you for the reminder that this isn't a quick fix. It will be a constant challenge for him going forward. That's important to remember and not minimize or ignore. Not pleasant, but important.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:48 AM
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Alcohol is an anti-parasitic and if you wish to break the alcohol grip simply use a stronger more well rounded anti-parasitic and you will crave it stronger than you crave alcohol.Imbibed to differing degrees for 21 years...stopped cold turkey after learning about the truths surrounding what Alcohol was created for and how it really works ....once I used a stronger anti-parasitic there was no wish want or need for alcohol of any form....and others have done the same.You shut off your bodies want for it.
edit on 3-8-2018 by one4all because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:54 AM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: Reverbs


That's all I got.


That's a lot -- thank you!

I wish he could have gone straight into detox or some kind of rehab coming out of the hospital. He already had a good head start at that point. And perhaps most open to it emotionally/mentally at that point too -- or maybe not. There's too much I just don't know at this point.


I got a head start on quitting smoking. Hurt my leg and it was too much of a literal pain in the azz to get up and go outside, then I was like wait it's been a week! Today is day 9.. as crazy addictive as cigs are and I've been adicted to a few things in my life.. cigs are devilishly addictive, but you can quit and sleep at night..

Your brain without alcohol in it though? In 18 hours no alcohol I said "get the puppy up." I thought I said I need a beer now! I was confused and even hallucinating, the only sober thought I could muster was beer..

Another time I wasn't as addicted it was day 7.. I wanted to quit after losing a job.. but each day got worse. I went to work and everyone thought I was drunk.. I could barely function.. almost got fired.. It made me so mad I try to do the right thing and get punished for it... eff it I'm drinking.. within 30 minutes bam back in business.. brain going on all cylanders.. It's crazy how sober you are if you're an alcoholic with a drink, after withdrawing

My longest attempt was like 20 days. I wasn't tempted to drink out of psychological addiction like cravings or boredom.. my mind was just getting worse everyday.. memory getting worse.. no concentration. Struggling with simple logic like wash clothes then dry them, so I should wash them, so I need to collect them ok they start dirty I got that part ok washer yes.. put clothes in is that right? Soap! Wait it's ok I can still put the soap in.. close the lid turn it on.. now I'm so tired whew that's all the thinking for today.. little exaggerated but kinda not..
Check clothes an hour later.. they're dry.. never started it..


I looked up online and you can have withdrawal like symptoms for a year or more... namely my biggest one was brain fog..

Pro tip..

Alcoholics are vitamin b deficient.. especially vitamin b1.. getting those supplemented helps with some of the brain issues.. but.. alcohol rewired like everything.. GABA epinephrine dopamine serotonin.. everything.. So those don't just go back to normal right away. That's what kills you.. central nervous system isn't depressed enough without the alcohol..



If I were to quit sometime in the future (see how I worded that not to flare up my own anxiety over quitting haha) I would want to have a doctor helping me. I would need some benzos of some kind, and just having someone who knows how the human body works telling me I'm going to be ok would give me that confidence not to panic and get more beer.. cause that one time I was shaking like crazy and hearing people say things they didn't say.. too scary.. I'm sure seizures were right around the corner.


edit on 3-8-2018 by Reverbs because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 09:55 AM
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originally posted by: dragonridr
a reply to: Boadicea

Having been in a similar situation i will say your first step is to make them realize they need to stop. Until they want to quit nothing you do will change things. Took my brother losing his wife kids and living on the streets before he finally came to me asking for help.

Every effort made before that by me and his wife failed. He had to hit bottom there is hope though hes been sober for 5 years now has a job and now has a relationship with his children. Its damaged and he will be repairing it for the rest of his life but its there.

Ill wish you the best of luck and hope he doesn't have to destroy his life before asking for help.


Congrats to your brother -- and bless your hearts for being there for him.

I'm prepared for the possibility he won't want help or want to do what he has to... in that case, I'll just let him know that my offer stands, and when he is ready, I will be too. And maybe one day I'll get that phone call.

He's pretty much where your brother was, having lost two wives and his daughters. I didn't even know. I see them with their mom occasionally, but I didn't know they were completely estranged from dad. (Actually, I see both his daughters with his second wife. She's really awesome about including his daughter from his first marriage in their lives. I'm so happy his girls have her!) From what I hear, it got pretty ugly, the schools and Children's Services got involved after his younger daughter drew a very disturbing picture of daddy passed out on the toilet. Yes, like your brother, he has much damage to repair.



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 10:13 AM
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a reply to: SummerRain

Your points are very well taken... and I'm understanding that I can do nothing except give him a hand to help him up. He has to want it and he has to do it -- and he'll have to do it for the rest of his life.

But for myself, I've gotta say that the words of wisdom I've received from our fellow ATSers are invaluable to me as I try to do my part. Things I never could have known or understood otherwise. And the experiences and wisdom shared isn't something I could have found anywhere else. I was hoping one or two might have personal knowledge and experience to share, but I never hoped or expected for so much -- both in quantity and quality.

And the love and good wishes and prayers??? I'm overwhelmed with gratitude.

(To my fellow ATSers: You are all AWESOME!!!)



posted on Aug, 3 2018 @ 10:22 AM
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a reply to: ArchangelOger

Thank you -- your personal knowledge and experience is very much appreciated!

It's becoming clearer to me that this is a multi-faceted problem and requires a multi-faceted solution. There is definitely a physical side to the addiction and its effects on the body. As well as the mental/emotional/spiritual side of it.

My first step will be to talk to him -- frankly and firmly, but also gently and with love. The last thing I want to do is try to manipulate him or guilt trip him or anything else. I want to be prepared mentally and emotionally for that talk though, and have options and choices for him when I do. I'm hoping that once we talk, I'll have a better idea of which choices are most practical and appropriate for him.

And I am optimistic that he will talk to me. He respects and trusts us, and he loves us. It's a good foundation at least. We'll see what happens.



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