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How do you deal with an alcoholic still in Detox?

(2 Posts)
Yambabe Fri 03-Feb-17 17:53:50

Bit of an odd one this. Relative broke her arm in a fall last week. Bad break in an awkward place, can't have a cast on, just a sling and morphine-based painkillers.

First day or so couldn't keep anything down, even the painkillers. Settled and slept day 2. Day 3 began to get agitated, by day 4 full on hallucinations, talking broken biscuits, shakes, all sorts.

Their DP took them back to hospital, they were admitted and tests started. Confusion and hallucinations continued, but with occasional lucid moments. Day 5 (yesterday) their DP discovered that along with stress and some other physical problems they had been self-medicating with drink for quite some time, but quite good at hiding it. Vodka in water bottles so starting to drink at 8.30am and stuff like that. Not obviously drunk, no passing out or hangovers, just constant drinking. The DP had no idea, til the docs said the symptoms now presenting were basically the DTs.

Now on day 6 since the accident. Relative has been on a drip and seems a lot more "back to normal". Meanwhile the DP seems to be minimising, and doesn't really want to talk about it.

The DP has asked us to visit tonight (relative still currently in hospital) and I'd like to go, I am close to them both. I want to be supportive, I'd like to see that relative is getting better and spend time with them. But this is totally new to me and I have no idea how to approach what I suspect will be the elephant in the room.

I assume I just take cues from relative and DP and if they mention it answer honestly? I don't want to upset them but at the same time this is potentially serious for relative and I don't want to pussyfoot around the subject.

Can anyone who's been through this offer some pointers? Thanks.

user892 Fri 03-Feb-17 17:59:14

Well, the fact they're in withdrawal doesn't mean they won't start drinking again as soon as they can - it's pretty much guaranteed in this case.

They may feel sheepish, caught-out or embarrassed. Or they might not.

It's up to them whether they want to give up or not.

I recommended you and DP attend Al-anon - meetings for families of alcoholics x

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