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Old 08-14-2006, 08:32 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Alcoholism.

Are you, a family member or a dear friend that you have, an alcoholic? Do you know how to get help for that person, or do you have any suggestions on how to help someone who is an alocoholic?

I have a dear friend whom I met in May who is an alcoholic. He loves to drink on weekends, and this past weekend, he drank to excess. He mainly drinks shots of vodka and beer I felt at the time when I first met him, that he was reaching out for help and that he didn't know who to turn to. I STILL feel that way.

He told me that he wants me to be his mentor, and I told him that I'd be very happy to. Oh, his girlfriend is also an alcoholic! He IS in a program during the week which helps him stay clean (no alcohol in his urine). He also told me that I'm the best friend that he's ever had.

He told me that his alcoholism goes back to when he was at home with his siblings and parents and he was rejected by them all. I really want to help him get over this, and I've been trying so hard, but I can only do so much. Hopefully, he'll at least slow down soon and ween himself off of it, but I want him to be in good health.

I know what alcohol can do to some people. I lost one of my brothers to alcoholism and diabetes, and I don't want to lose my friend to anything tragic. Any suggestions?


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Old 08-14-2006, 08:50 AM   #2
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I divorced an alcoholic and I don't believe anyone can do anything. It is all up to the alcoholic to want to change. If he's not drinking during the week suggest he go to AA on the weekends.

The first thing I suggest is that he dump the girlfriend. He doesn't need a drinking partner.

He is blaming his family for his failures. He can go to therapy and the therapist will let him know that although he had a bad family life, now his choices are his alone.

I suggest you not become his "mentor". When his drinking is out of line, he sees you as the controlling father figure and he can become verbally (or physically) abusive if you try to come between him and his alcohol...throw the girlfriend into mix and I see a disaster just waiting to happen.

If he will go to AA, he'll have a mentor who he can call day and night and who won't take excuses. If you choose to remain friends with him, plan evenings or outings that don't involve alcohol. If he insists on drinking, then you leave. I can't say this enough times...he drinks, you leave. No matter what.

Having been through this, I'm tough now. I went the supportive route and held him for years while he cried about how sorry he was and it would never happen again. BS. They have to make the decision to quit....we can't do a thing about it.
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:55 AM   #3
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I don't think he'll drink elsewhere. From what I've been observing, he won't drink away from his area. And yes, I've taken them BOTH out for lunch and dinner, and they've shown no desire to drink during that time at all. I think they feel safer drinking in their stomping ground (neighborhood) because they are not too far from home and they can walk back to their apartment.

He mainly drinks in his neighborhood (they both do). Also, he was once homeless and so he must depend on his girlfriend for a place to stay (they stay down the main street from me).

It is now much too hard for me to turn away from him! I just don't have the heart to do that. And I DID suggest to them that they BOTH start going to AA meetings.

His girlfriend told me that she once tried it and walked out. So, she doesn't seem to want to get the help, I imagine.

And yes, it IS mainly HIS decision to either stop or get the help that he so desperately needs. He really is a nice person and he depends on me for support and suggestions as well as for brotherly companionship. He sometimes sort of has the mind of a small child, especially when he drinks he seems to lok so pitiful, sad and lonely. I'm not sure if it's his brain function or not. And he also said that he's skitzopranic and suffers from some depression at times.

And yes, you're right, he SHOULD DUMP his girlfriend, or at least seperate from her for a while, but he'll end up back out in the streets with no place to go, and I don't want that to happen either!! I think she's holding him back.

They both have some issues with disability and are on a fixed income. But to turn my back on him, I just can't do it. It's not in me to do something like that.
I'll be his best friend no matter what. But I'm not giving up on him. I'll still try to help him and hope that he'll do the right thing.


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Old 08-14-2006, 11:21 AM   #4
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Quote:
And he also said that he's skitzopranic and suffers from some depression at times
That is another reason to get into therapy. He obviously needs medication. There are free clinics everywhere that help people on a limited income, especially if there is a disability. If he is on some type of disability do to his mental problems and is receiving money from the government, I'm surprised they will support him if he isn't in a program.

You say you are helping to support him. Have you read about 'enablers'? You've only known these people since May and it looks like he has found someone who is sympathetic and latched on to you.

IMHO, I'd be very wary of this relationship.

I suggest that you Google enablers and see if you fit the profile. I know I sound harsh and cold but I have been through this with my ex and a roommate. It won't happen to me again.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:54 AM   #5
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A hug for you for wanting to help.
Listen to Half Baked. She has good advice.

TAKE CARE OF YOU... you're in a dangerous spot.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:12 PM   #6
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How is it a dangerous spot for me?

My dear late brother was also an alcoholic. And I've dealt with alcoholics for many years.


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Old 08-14-2006, 12:27 PM   #7
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Hugs to you Corey, for caring enough to want to help him. Keep on loving your friend, just know that YOU cannot help him. Only HE and trained professionals can give him the help he needs and he DOES need it! Your prayers and your friendship are the best gifts you can give him, as well as reminding him whenever he begs you for help that you can be his friend, but not his mentor. He does need an AA member for that, and if he is going to AA, he does have one. Sometimes it helps for friends like you to go to Al Anon. This is a great program that can help you NOT be an enabler, as well as to understand what it does take to help someone like your friend.

You might want to check that out.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:34 PM   #8
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HB, a lot of that is certainly true, but it seems a little presumptuous to tell him to abandon this person whom he considers a friend without knowing more than you've read in a thread on the internet.

Aside from that... Corey, it's very cool that you're trying to help him, but HB seems to know her stuff, and it's good advice. Helping him at this point is more a matter of getting him to help himself and perhaps backing off a little bit.

I definitely would not just drop someone who considers you a friend (even if it is partially for the sympathy), especially someone who obviously needs a hand, even if it's not yours.

[ edit: FYI, AA is not for atheists, in case that affects your/his/her situation ]
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:40 PM   #9
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Cory... I grew up with family members that were/are alcoholics I believe that they can be dangerous to your body, your mind and to your heart.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:02 PM   #10
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AA is not for everyone and has very poor success rates. Also be aware that AA is based on religion. They say "spirituality" but that is not true. It eventually all boils down to christian religion.

Read about it here. www.rational.org

"The American addiction tragedy is not so much that the addicted are leading the addicted, but that the professional community has endorsed the Addictive Voice of the recovery group movement. Accordingly, our social service system now requires all addicted people to remain in addiction, in a tentatively abstinent condition known as "in recovery."

It is not surprising that when addicted people provide guidance to other addicted people, the abstinent outcome is near zero. Those who leave recovery groups or undertake recovery through self-restraint do much better than those who remain in recovery groups or addiction treatment programs, according to sources including AA's official publication, The Grapevine. In May, 2001 The Grapevine reported that over 60% of all successful recoveries occur independently, without the use of recovery groups, professional counseling, or addiction treatment programs. AA's 1989 Triennial Membership Survey disclosed that about 2% of newcomers are consistently abstinent after five years of program participation."

(AA no longer publishes it's results)

i've been drinking since i was 14 and was a fall down drunk for a couple of years, having to be hospitalized twice, and nearly dying one time. I went to a 12 Step based(aa) inhouse rehab facility and detoxed there. The AA aspect of recovery is similar to a cult, very strange, and is definitely not for everyone. But most rehab places are 12 step based, and you can actually learn alot from their lectures, and it is certainly interesting to hear people's stories of alcohol and drug abuse and how they have either risen above it or been consumed by it.

Personally, i have never gone to an AA meeting since i got out of rehab, i use rational recovery, it's all in your head.

AA teaches you alcoholism is a disease while there are no medical facts to prove this. AA also teaches you that you will be an alcoholic for the rest of your life, that you can't just QUIT, you have to take it one day at a time

this is absolutely false. If your friend is bad enough of an alcoholic that he will go into withdrawals if he stops drinking, like i was, then i suggest he go into an inpatient rehab. If he is particularly religious, he may even like AA. But as i said, their success rates are not high. And the 12 step based and meetings you attend in an inpatient rehab are filled with healthcare professionals giving lectures, so you still learn some.

the AA meetings on the outside have no healthcare professionals, it is just a fellowship of addicts.

AA is not for everyone and i urge you to check out the heaps of literature exposing the BS about AA, and to check out Rational Recovery. It is a mind trick/exercise.

It has worked for me very well.
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