My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Friend Drinking In Excess of At Least 150 units of Alcohol A Week - AIBU to leave her to it?

133 replies

Prangie · 13/10/2022 19:53

She has drunk heavily for a long time.

I know she has hidden bottles that her ex husband found, and I suspect she hides it to an extent to her current partner. I called yesterday morning and she was pissed, it was 10.30am. I have brought it up and she lies and says she has cut back, or wasn't drinking, or only had one etc etc. I have told her I know she isn't being truthful and she lies again. She also works shifts (midwife) and uses the excuse she's been working nights when she has clearly been drinking in the morning - I know one of her colleagues and know she isn't on nights as often as she claims. (I am not sure how often she drinks in the morning, but she certainly drinks heavily every night she is not at work.)

I have also told her that this isn't sustainable. I am her daughters godmother, btw (that is possibly irrelevant, I'm not sure!) She clearly doesn't feel able to stop and, despite necking at least 2 but usually three (or one box) of wine a night (and possibly now in the day) she has a remarkable tolerance. How long can someone continue like this before the health problems are irreversible?

AIBU to not mention it again as it makes no difference and the only person who can change it is her? Or AINBU to keep trying due to her daughter?

I have a feeling it's the former, but would like some other views as I am getting too frustrated to think rationally any more.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

218 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
28%
You are NOT being unreasonable
72%
Thepeopleversuswork · 13/10/2022 20:12

You asking her to stop or cut down is clearly not going to make any difference as I am sure you know. An alcoholic will only stop for themselves and usually only when they reach a point where their life is unsustainable. If she's lying to herself, to you and her daughter she clearly is in denial and will justify it to herself.

On the other hand I do think you have a responsibility to do something for the daughter's sake. If she's drinking at those levels she clearly is risking her own health and her daughter's safety. Honestly I would say to her that if she isn't prepared to get help you will consider raising it with social services. It may sound draconian but it sounds as if she needs a wake-up call with respect to the impact its having on her daughter.

Keyansier · 13/10/2022 20:16

Do her colleagues know she's a drunk who turns up pissed for her midwife role?

ElectedOnThursday · 13/10/2022 20:19

You need to be on her side rather than taking an accusatory stance.
Your friend is desperately unwell and needs professional support, emotional and physical.

Maybe write her a letter expressing your love and concern and saying that you want to support her in any way you can. Ask whether she would like you to go with her to the GP or an addiction service or to help her jack up an appointment with a therapist.It’s ok to express your anxiety about her daughter’s wellbeing and to offer support.

Also call an addiction service for advice both around supporting your friend and the child’s safety.

Your friend should not have sole care of a vulnerable person as clearly she is extremely unwell. This needs urgent sign posting to appropriate authorities.

Judging and accusing however will help no one and will likely sever the friendship and her access to a last support.

romdowa · 13/10/2022 20:19

I'd be reporting her to her professional body. She's a midwife, imagine if she's drunk and makes a mistake that costs a woman or baby their life. She's a walking time bomb

MrsTerryPratchett · 13/10/2022 20:21

Drinking that much means she's a clinical alcoholic and will be under the influence all the time, including at work and driving. You need to report, to her professional body and social services.

She will only seek help when she decides to.

Kentgirl2525 · 13/10/2022 20:22

romdowa · 13/10/2022 20:19

I'd be reporting her to her professional body. She's a midwife, imagine if she's drunk and makes a mistake that costs a woman or baby their life. She's a walking time bomb

This is very very worrying! As a midwife she has a duty of care and this is clearly being compromised if drunk or hungover. You need to report her before something awful happens.

IncompleteSenten · 13/10/2022 20:22

I'd be very concerned about this. Does she drive drunk? Is she drunk in charge of patients?

The risks here go beyond her health. If she was the only one potentially harmed then really that's her risk and her choice but there's a very real chance here that she could be a risk to others and that imo tips it from ignore to act.

moita · 13/10/2022 20:23

Feel for you OP. A friend of mine was an alcoholic - I only realised how bad her drinking was when we lived together brielfy. She was a nurse and god knows how she held onto her job but she did silly things at home when drunk: leaving the hobs on, front door unlocked, lots of falling over.

She ended up moving back with her parents and did get sober but she left nursing.

dudsville · 13/10/2022 20:23

She has professional responsibilities for vulnerable women. You may struggle as her friend to report it, i would certainly feel awful, but a life could be in danger as a result of her drinking.

LividLaVidaLoca · 13/10/2022 20:24

Yep. You need to report her to her workplace, report her to the DVLA and see what you can do to protect her daughter.

I’m sorry.

Sarahcoggles · 13/10/2022 20:24

How old is her daughter?

LuckyLil · 13/10/2022 20:27

It's pointless saying anything to her because she's not ready to hear it from you or anyone else. Like others I'm more concerned about her being 8n a fit state to be a midwife. That's a pretty important job you can't be under the influence with and there's no way she isn't still under at least some influence if she's drinking the amount you say. There's a moral issue here and you may need to be the one who reports her before something terrible happens to a birthing mother or new born because she didn't think she was 'that' hungover when she went to work.

Theforkistootall · 13/10/2022 20:43

My ex drank six bottles of wine a day. All day. Every day. Nothing I said or did stopped him. He loved that booze more than me or his daughter, end of. Poor kid. He died age 43. I had to explain alcoholism to my six year old.

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don’t. I didn’t report him for drink driving, but he was a tradie and eventually no one would work with him. (Of course, he blamed them for ganging up on him). I’ve wondered if it would have made a difference if I had. I do wish I had, because he could have killed someone. It was hard in the thick of it, though, and mercifully, he didn’t.

I’d like to say in your position, I would report the NMC and her employer. I think it’s the right thing to do. But I know how hard and disloyal it feels. Realistically, she’s hiding from the consequences of her actions. Shielding her definitely won’t help her face up to them and stop. Facing them might not, either, but it might.

You could go a middle route. Either she faces up to it, goes off sick and deals with it and you’ll be there for every step of the way, and might be able to save her career, or you report her and she’ll be struck off for sure. Horrible, horrible conversation to have. It might be the end of your friendship. If a baby dies, and she’s been drinking, can you even live with yourself, let alone your friendship?

Very likely her colleagues have concerns too. You’ll be part of a body, not a lone voice, although you’ll never know that. You have my every sympathy. It’s so hard. It’s not your fault. Even if you do enable her, it’s not your fault. She’s responsible for her own actions.

DrManhattan · 13/10/2022 20:44

You can't help someone who won't help themselves

TowerRaven7 · 13/10/2022 20:48

How long can she last? Well it can be a long time. I know someone that will drink three bottles themselves a night and has for years and years. They are probably pickled. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they outlived me.

Higgeldypiggeldy35 · 13/10/2022 21:02

Shes going to end up killing a baby and or its mother by being drunk on the job. She needs reporting to the midwifery council urgently.

girlfriend44 · 13/10/2022 21:05

Hope she dosent drink and drive.

How does anyone afford to drink lots of wine everyday must all cost alot of money.

Flighttodayplease · 13/10/2022 21:14

Theforkistootall · 13/10/2022 20:43

My ex drank six bottles of wine a day. All day. Every day. Nothing I said or did stopped him. He loved that booze more than me or his daughter, end of. Poor kid. He died age 43. I had to explain alcoholism to my six year old.

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don’t. I didn’t report him for drink driving, but he was a tradie and eventually no one would work with him. (Of course, he blamed them for ganging up on him). I’ve wondered if it would have made a difference if I had. I do wish I had, because he could have killed someone. It was hard in the thick of it, though, and mercifully, he didn’t.

I’d like to say in your position, I would report the NMC and her employer. I think it’s the right thing to do. But I know how hard and disloyal it feels. Realistically, she’s hiding from the consequences of her actions. Shielding her definitely won’t help her face up to them and stop. Facing them might not, either, but it might.

You could go a middle route. Either she faces up to it, goes off sick and deals with it and you’ll be there for every step of the way, and might be able to save her career, or you report her and she’ll be struck off for sure. Horrible, horrible conversation to have. It might be the end of your friendship. If a baby dies, and she’s been drinking, can you even live with yourself, let alone your friendship?

Very likely her colleagues have concerns too. You’ll be part of a body, not a lone voice, although you’ll never know that. You have my every sympathy. It’s so hard. It’s not your fault. Even if you do enable her, it’s not your fault. She’s responsible for her own actions.

I am so so sorry for what you've and your child have been through. Please though don't say that an alcoholic "loves" alcohol more than their family. This is not true. They probably actually hate it, hate it to their core. The addiction doesn't give you a choice.

OP please do keep offering your friend your support and please do report then to SS and their work. That is being a good friend. You're really caring and once she can see some light she will appreciate this.

Sapphire387 · 13/10/2022 21:27

@Flighttodayplease They do choose alcohol above their families, though. It's how it feels to those who are left behind. It happened to my DH and DSD. It's a terrible thing for those who are close to it.

OP, you need to prioritise those who could get really hurt by your friend, e.g. her daughter, women and babies she is apparently 'caring for'. Your friend is on a destructive path and if she can't or won't get herself off it then it's all about damage limitation, I'm afraid.

Flighttodayplease · 13/10/2022 21:28

When they're in the grip of addiction there is no choice.

passport123 · 13/10/2022 21:29

It is none of your business except for what she does for a living and I think you need to report to her work, or to the NMC.

Birch01 · 13/10/2022 21:33

My mum drank 2-3 bottles of wine every single day, and about 2 bottles of whisky on top of that every 3-4 days. Over the course of 15-20 years. It can take a very very long time to actually die of alcoholism.

Your friend is going to be either a) still drunk at work b) hungover at work or c) in active withdrawal at work. All of those scenarios make her a very real risk to women and babies. I imagine she is also getting into a car to and from work, which adds to the potential number of people whose lives she is putting in danger.

It will feel so shit to do this, but you need to report her anonymously to the hospital and her midwifery unit. It won’t come back to you and she won’t know it is you, but the chances are her colleagues will also have concerns / have clocked something / have smelt booze on her breath. Your complaint might just be the catalyst for someone seriously sitting her down and making her see that if she doesn’t stop drinking she is going to lose everything.

As for her little girl your goddaughter, I am her / she was me and I can’t tell you enough now much having an alcoholic parent affects you. She will already have seen things she shouldn’t have and god knows how many situations she has been put in. Please for her sake report her mum, it might force her to see the light and get sober

FriendofDorothy · 13/10/2022 21:36

How old is her daughter? Could there be safeguarding concerns?

Surely that affects her work.

buggeredmyleg · 13/10/2022 21:37

Report her to her work and the police.

Leave her To it. You can do nothing.

Getofftheladder · 13/10/2022 21:37

You need to report her to her workplace and social services. She should not be caring for pregnant ladies or babies. Her daughter needs protecting. Please for her sake do something.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.