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Cocaine and alcohol addictions

(74 Posts)
Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 12:55:09

Can anyone give me some advice.. I have a friend who is in freefall with both.. tried to go cold turkey and did loads of exercise etc..for five days.. then last night he downed a bottle of whisky , speed , wine and is still drinking..having driven to work.
He is resistant to seeing a Gp.. can anyone make any suggestions? I don't think sudden withdrawals a good idea..he is behaving very erratically..

KilledBill Sat 02-Jul-11 13:32:27

Unfortunatly, there is no replacement treatment for cocaine addiction like there is for alcohol, heroin etc. Also, because of the very nature of cocaine / crack, that you have some and it makes you crave more and more straight after, its not possible to "wean" off it.

So for the cocaine, it will be cold turkey, but a treatment centre or drug counsellor could help with this. They could also refer for things like acupuncture, which some say helps with withdrawal.

As for the alcohol - if he is truely physically addicted he should in no way attempt to stop himself. It could kill him. He needs to see a doctor and be referred for help, replacement drugs or a reduction program.

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 13:58:04

He's drinking 24/7 atm.. his mother died of cirrhosis..and I think his fathers also alcoholic.. figured re that for the coke..but was unsure..thank you .. Have found a treatment centre in his part of the country..and tho it clashes with his work hours..how long he's going to have his job is debatable.. he took his clothes off in his office..and locked himself in.. my hope is that he will get sectioned if that stuff continues..or he will get pulled for drink driving.. something to remove his ability to sustain his supply..

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-11 13:59:02

You can't fix him, he has to do it himself, and it sounds unlikely that he can do it without help, so he really needs to start with the gp or with an addiction centre of some type. Many have "outpatient" treatments if you can pay, or waiting lists if you can't.

"Resistant to seeing gp" - for an addict that translates to "wants you to think he wants to give up but actually doesn't want to do anything about it".

He needs to take action, not just say he will stop. Apart from doing research and giving him phone numbers you can do nothing, really. Sorry, it is tough, but picking up the pieces for him is very unlikely to help long term.

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-11 14:01:15

Cross-posts - let's hope he gets done for drink driving before rather than after he kills someone hmm.

They are unlikely to section him if the erratic behaviour is due to drink/drugs rather than mh issues - he is more likely to be arrested.

Give him the number of the treatment centre. Ring and make an appointment (if they will let you, they may not). And try to step back a bit to protect yourself. How good a friend is he?

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 14:10:41

Does he actually want help?

If he does, but won't see a GP, give him the phone number for Alcoholics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous. He may have pre-conceived ideas about religion or do-gooders, but he won't find either - he'll just find other people who've been through it, won't judge, and will make practical suggestions.

If he's too scared to phone them himself, you could phone and get local meeting times/places, and take him to one - he needn't say a word, just sit and listen.

Or, get him to talk to the treatment centre without making any committment.

If he doesn't want help, doesn't want to stop, its going to be very hard if not impossible to do anything at all....except stand by for the moment when he 'crashes' and be ready to take him to treatment or a meeting then. Good luck, and don't hesitate to say if you need more info/numbers etc.

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 14:31:35

He has finally admitted he needs help.. and he never ever goes to the Gp.. despite collapsing with bleeding pancreas last year , he is terrified of doctors..... he's a classic case..booze wise.. he has a good job,I suggested he look at Big Issue sellers with an open eye.. many homeless people were where he is at not too long ago..
Believe you me..if i knew his licence plate I would shop him...
He's been extremely honest about how bad his addiction is... to himself..to me..and to his 17 yr old son... we are close friends.. I pull no punches.

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 14:35:41

I'm not trying to fix him..for him..im trying to show him how he can fix himself...

Elibean Sat 02-Jul-11 16:28:28

Good for you, he's lucky to have a friend who pulls no punches - seriously.

Also good that he's admitting he needs help. Again, good luck - sometimes its down to just seizing the moment.

KilledBill Sat 02-Jul-11 17:36:14

Well, to be honest, I would get the plate number and tell the police myself if I knew he was about to get into a car drunk. And I have sympathy for addicts. Really, if you know him that well, get the plate number or at least the make of the car and area he is in and tell the police if he drink drives again. Being arrested may well be the thing that wakes him up, and most people charged with drink driving are put on a detox program and education about the dangers of drinking program - rather than sent to jail. So you may get him the help he needs aswell as saving lives.

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 18:00:50

He lives over a hundred miles away..new company car..no idea what it is.. will think on it , but yes..will shop him if i can...
Ive had him on the phone from outside his dealers.. told him he can call me when he next comes down..not before.. not interested in hearing addictese for why hes there..

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 18:02:27

I am in love with the straight man.. and vice versa.. I won't see him coked off his face tho.. have made that clear... he's gotta get clean.

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-11 18:36:19

Well I live with an addict - my son sad.

I love him, but I can't help him because he has put his addiction ahead of the health, safety and happiness of the rest of the family, including his younger siblings. He too says (periodically) that he wants to stop, but he doesn't.

My advice to you is to walk away. If (and I mean if sad) he gets clean, he can find you.

If you have children, don't just walk, run. I have no choice but to bring up children in a house with an addict, with all that entails. You have that choice. Don't do it to them.

Sorry if this advice is tough sad. I wish I had your choices.

Littleblue Sat 02-Jul-11 18:46:30

I'm so sorry Maryz.. I have four children.. he hasn't met them..nor will he unless he gets clean.. nor will I see him.. we started dating..and fell very much in love.. the connection is very deep and the coke showed up rapidly..he's been very open.. he doesn't want to see me til he's clean either.. at this point..he means it.. I'm not going to stop talking to him,and am not trying to mend him as I said.. I will not stop being his friend..
Is your son adult?..I have a 20 year old..at Uni.. can the health/social services help at all..?

Maryz Sat 02-Jul-11 18:58:58

I really, really sympathise with you. But I have never yet met an addict who has managed to get and permanently stay straight sad.

I know they are out there. But in my experience (and I'm mostly talking alcohol because that is what my family specialise in), it takes such an effort to stay off it, and then only very small obstacles for them to go back on.

My son is 17, and has been using alcohol, cannabis and god knows what else since he was 13 sad. He has Asperger's and underlying mh issues, and refuses to go to any form of counselling or any doctor (in fact he hates doctors - maybe a bit like your friend hmm). Again my experience is that drug use is a sign of underlying issues, often underlying unhappiness. So the only way to change is to go right back to basics, to look at life before the drug taking started (in my son's case he would have to go back to primary school) and retrain his brain and thoughts to be able to cope with a life with no "support" from any substance. A very, very hard thing to do.

I wish you all the best. I'm sure you won't put your children at risk in any way deliberately, but do take care smile.

Littleblue Sun 03-Jul-11 13:57:04

I have.. one of my best friends quit coke ten years ago.. she said it was bloody hard..a nightmare..
My family have a wide streak of drinkers too..inc me tbh.. cognitive behavioural therapy is one resource..and hypnosis , but my friend whose now clean said that "coke is the mistress no woman can compete with"..cos its so hard to kick..
I wish you well..can hear your pain and desperation loud and clear..one hopes that as maturity sets in..your son wants more than addiction for himself.. you can do little but love him while he resists.. sad

Elibean Sun 03-Jul-11 15:51:45

Maryz, I was addicted to heroin and cocaine for several years, in my early twenties. I know many, many 'recovering' addicts like myself who have got clean, and stayed clean. It really is possible.

I'm so sorry you are going through it with your son - awful for families, who are not numbed out (for the most part!) to witness and try and stay sane around.

There are supports systems in most areas for family members, as well as addicts - eg Famlies Anonymous, or AlAnon - I would strongly suggest checking them out, OP, they may well have wiser advice for you than I could possibly come up with (am too many years away from it all now to remember half the wisdom I once learnt!).

OP, I would seriously tell my beloved not to contact me until he had been to several NA, CA or AA meetings - or treatment - and had detoxed with the help of a doctor. It could be just the reality check he needs. If he can't do that, it may just not be the right time for him I'm afraid - he may need to get worse before he gets better. Very scary to watch, even from a distance, because sometimes people die instead sad

MaryZ, hoping the best for you and your son, and the rest of the family...if you have never contacted Famlies Anonymous, you may find they can help support you, suggest practical ways of coping, etc.

Littleblue Mon 04-Jul-11 07:02:21

Will contact NA/CA... and makes some decisions as how best to deal with my role in this 'friendship'..thinking hard about your words..thank you.

Elibean Mon 04-Jul-11 10:58:06

Good start, Littleblue, good for you. If its hard to know how to take care of you in the situation, do contact FA or Al-Anon too - they can give you good advice, and share their experiences. People do get well from addiction - but its very important for others around them not to 'enable' them to stay addicted. You will hear the words 'tough love' bandied about - almost tag words these days, but absolutely true.
Take care of yourself!

Littleblue Mon 04-Jul-11 12:01:07

This is where I'm grateful it's a distance relationship..I've used the word friendship.. but were in love..and talk everyday he's not on a bender..and now he's been honest , he will call me when he's not quite straight too.. nothing to hide anymore.. not easy to hear it in his voice..but learning the pattern's and having that honesty will help me get the measure of the situation better..if that makes sense.Ie if he start's lying again..I will be able to tell.
The last thing I want to do is be part of his addicts sharade.. the delusional thinking he has built up to excuse his failure to kick it so far.. We have agreed on the souls bared stuff.. I will spend some time talking to various people..not sure I understand all the abbv you use re societies but have found
www.addictionadvisor.co.uk
and will call them too I think.. I didn't need this addition to the problems I face in my life.. but tho I won't walk away as such..I am dogged that he will face it..or I'm gone.. rip my heart out to do so..but I have to..I know that. sad

Littleblue Mon 04-Jul-11 12:07:50

He's ex-army.. never talks about it..but the binge behaviour appears to have started when he left the Army.. I wonder...

Elibean Mon 04-Jul-11 13:18:23

Yes, I would wonder too sad

NA is Narcotics Anonymous, CA is Cocaine Anonymous, AA is Alcoholics Anonymous. FA is for famlies of addicted people (or friends/lovers!) and Al-Anon for families/friends of alcoholics. They are all interchangeable, but my bet would be AA or CA would 'fit' best for your friend.

He may well need some trauma counselling, depending on what comes up if/when he stops drinking/using.

Its very hard, but do keep to your boundaries - it may feel as though your heart is being ripped out if you have to say 'no', but it isn't being. And you need your heart intact to cope with parenthood, life, the future smile No one wants to get dragged in to addiction chaos, but there is always a 'hook' and unless you stay well back - and aware of your own pull to rescue/fix him - its always possible you will get pulled in.

Here's my final bit of advice, I promise: if you do find yourself hooked in, don't beat yourself up - just go and get some help yourself. Google FA or Al-anon, and call them - or talk to one of the addiction agencies (some are more helpful/useful than others) about support for family/friends/partners.

Littleblue Mon 04-Jul-11 20:17:20

He is a workaholic too.. has described his work ethic as an "emotional crutch".. I don't feel a pull to rescue him as such..I don't think I do anyway...I had a boyfriend in the past who was/is an alcoholic..and he leant on me,well tried to... but I listened to his value system and his excuses..and left him.. He is local , and we were drinking heavily when together(he was a counsellor before drink got him)...I have an addiction to alcohol myself..knew that if that continued I was in trouble...*bigtime*..but saying that..despite the odd joint at points along the way..hard drugs never had any attraction for me..despite being exposed to them socially on occasion when I worked in london etc..I'm at no risk to get pulled into any kind of scene..my bad habits are wine at night when the kids go to bed.. he has described me as "him 7 years ago"
I made some calls today.. thank you :-) and learnt a few things I didnt know already.. he has gone into silent mode again.. will be knackered..but I know the pattern with his benders now..when he's at his worst..he clams.. I'm fully expecting him to get the sack anyday.... hope he does , he will lose his company car..and his income fuels his habit.. sad
Ive been offered support from a local drugs support agency.. will follow that up if I feel I need to..atm , im fairly sanguine..bizarrely.. I knew there was a big hole in our relationship somewhere..I just didn't understand..the coke confession was a lightbulb

TheSecondComing Mon 04-Jul-11 20:22:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Littleblue Mon 04-Jul-11 20:29:24

He has serious addiction issues.. is losing his home..and his son..thats not a flight of fancy..its a serious problem/disease.

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