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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.

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Am I being unreasonable?

218 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
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You are NOT being unreasonable
72%
Badger1970 · 13/10/2022 21:41

I had to walk away from a very old friend who was bordering on alcoholism. She would knock 2 bottles of wine back and still appear sober, it terrified me. She had 4 young DC, her Dad and aunty are both alcoholics and she's heading the same way. I couldn't keep my seat in the front row and watch it happen.

Until someone is prepared to admit to reaching the bottom, talking to them is just pissing in the wind.

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FirstnameSuesecondnamePerb · 13/10/2022 21:43

I've seen alcoholics take several friends and my brother died of liver failure very suddenly.
God knows what you do. There is no right answer. How old is her daughter?

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 21:48

@Prangie aorry to hear about the situation your in.

AA have a service for friends and family called Al anon

www.al-anonuk.org.uk/

Please get in touch with the experts and try not to listen too much on here as whatever you do there are going to be serious consequences for your friend.

Your friend is in a very bad place and does need help. I had a dear friend come out of rehab and wouldn’t accept they had a problem and died 6 months later, so so sad this disease.

And it’s not the person who controls the drinking it’s the Illness

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NashvilleQueen · 13/10/2022 21:54

However hard it maybe and whatever loyalties you have her alcoholism is putting women and babies at significant risk and you can't stand by. Report her to the NMC. She might not understand it and it might end your friendship but given you're thinking of walking away anyway there's not much to salvage.

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Theforkistootall · 13/10/2022 21:56

Flighttodayplease · 13/10/2022 21:28

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

I’m…..undecided. What I decided, in the end, was that it didn’t matter. Choice, illness, love. The fact was we were collateral damage. It didn’t matter whether it was enemy action of friendly fire. If I’d have stayed, we’d have gone down with him. And there was another person who had absolutely no choice and she was three.

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Flighttodayplease · 13/10/2022 21:58

Theforkistootall · 13/10/2022 21:56

I’m…..undecided. What I decided, in the end, was that it didn’t matter. Choice, illness, love. The fact was we were collateral damage. It didn’t matter whether it was enemy action of friendly fire. If I’d have stayed, we’d have gone down with him. And there was another person who had absolutely no choice and she was three.

Absolutely understand and no way meant to make you think I was minimising your situation.

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Cw112 · 13/10/2022 21:58

Ah dear love her she's struggling and she's probably doing her best to convince herself she's hiding it. I would sit her down and have a really honest chat, tell her you love her, you're not there to judge her but you can see what's happening and you want to support her. Ask her how you can help and if she knows what's triggering the drinking. I would suggest to her that she takes some time off work because if she makes a mistake at work it could end her career and could severely affect a family. Tell her you'll go with her to a gp appointment for moral support to get support and to get signed off work and tell her that it's not the end of the world, that if she takes steps now she can get back in control and you'll help her as much as you can.

If she still refuses to admit it then I don't think you have much choice but to anonymously report her to the hospital because things will be much worse for her if something awful happens on her watch. They will also have mechanisms in place to support her. I'm not sure if I've missed how old her daughter is but if you think the daughter is unsafe in her care then you may need to ring social services.

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:01

Theforkistootall · 13/10/2022 21:56

I’m…..undecided. What I decided, in the end, was that it didn’t matter. Choice, illness, love. The fact was we were collateral damage. It didn’t matter whether it was enemy action of friendly fire. If I’d have stayed, we’d have gone down with him. And there was another person who had absolutely no choice and she was three.

You absolutely did the right thing in leaving as you can’t fix an alcoholic and unfortunately your exh couldn’t win either. Sorry for your loss it’s heartbreaking when this disease takes its victims 💐

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orbitalcrisis · 13/10/2022 22:02

I would just leave it. If you keep going on about it she will feel she cannot come to you if and when she needs you as you'll just judge her some more. She has to do this for herself.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:12

Thank you all so much for the responses. Please excuse the brief reply, I’m typing on my phone and can’t find my glasses-

Her daughter is 11, stays with her dad every other week.

I have brought up the drinking and my concern MANY times, it went from excuses and now is mainly lies. She can drink two bottles without it being remotely obvious, it’s partway down the 3rd it does. She can easily polish off the best part of a bottle of gin over a couple of days too, but doesn’t drink it as much as she’s always broke.

if her employer know, which I have considered and do agree with, but she denies it - what happens? What if (apologies as I don5 know how quickly it can leave your system) she’s hungover but there’s no alcohol in her bloodstream? I suppose what I’m asking is, how possible is it to get away with it? I feel like I can only report her once!

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:21

Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:12

Thank you all so much for the responses. Please excuse the brief reply, I’m typing on my phone and can’t find my glasses-

Her daughter is 11, stays with her dad every other week.

I have brought up the drinking and my concern MANY times, it went from excuses and now is mainly lies. She can drink two bottles without it being remotely obvious, it’s partway down the 3rd it does. She can easily polish off the best part of a bottle of gin over a couple of days too, but doesn’t drink it as much as she’s always broke.

if her employer know, which I have considered and do agree with, but she denies it - what happens? What if (apologies as I don5 know how quickly it can leave your system) she’s hungover but there’s no alcohol in her bloodstream? I suppose what I’m asking is, how possible is it to get away with it? I feel like I can only report her once!

Please speak with Al-anon before reporting her and get some expert advice. Your between a rock and a hard place.

Like you say she is in denial and you can’t fix that

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:26

That’s an excellent idea. I didn’t think of that. Thank you.

I probably sound a bit naive but I don’t know enough about a situation at this level.

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:28

Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:26

That’s an excellent idea. I didn’t think of that. Thank you.

I probably sound a bit naive but I don’t know enough about a situation at this level.

@Prangie

Call our confidential Helpline on 0800 0086 811 (UK residents) 01 873 2699 (Eire residents) or email [email protected]

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Marchmount · 13/10/2022 22:28

With the amount she is drinking she will always be drunk. A bottle of wine is 10-12 units so if she is having at least 2 a day then she won’t really have sobered up before she starts again. She certainly shouldn’t be drinking 2 bottles the day/ night before a shift at work as she will be drunk on duty.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:31

Shit. She’s generally, or at least, often on more than 2.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:32

I suppose I’m thinking of drunk as in properly drunk but I guess that can also mean in your bloodstream and still possibly affecting you?

I do drink myself, btw, it’s just a more normal level so this kind of thing doesn’t come up!

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:33

@Prangie as a member of AA you have two issues.

  1. your concerns she may harm others and her daughter may be at risk
  2. You can’t help her to stop drinking but you can advise her


Once both of these are addressed you can walk away knowing you tried everything you could.

Like I say I had a good friend who came out of rehab and picked up again straight away. I had was heartbroken and spoke to my sponsor and was told I need to walk away as I can’t help. He died 6 months later but when I was at his funeral I could be at rest knowing I couldn’t have helped even if I wanted to.

Have you seen the documentary on c4 about will young and his brother?

www.channel4.com/programmes/will-young-losing-my-twin-rupert?cntsrc=social_share_ios_will_young_losing_my_twin_rupert
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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:33

@Prangie sorry I meant to say that I am a member of AA

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:35

Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:32

I suppose I’m thinking of drunk as in properly drunk but I guess that can also mean in your bloodstream and still possibly affecting you?

I do drink myself, btw, it’s just a more normal level so this kind of thing doesn’t come up!

Yea she will always have alcohol in her system and if she stopped suddenly may die. Alcohol is the only drug that can kill from withdrawal.

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:36

@Prangie If you tell me what city or town you are in I can also signpost you to other support?

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:37

@Andypandy799 thank you - great advice

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MrsTerryPratchett · 13/10/2022 22:38

Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:32

I suppose I’m thinking of drunk as in properly drunk but I guess that can also mean in your bloodstream and still possibly affecting you?

I do drink myself, btw, it’s just a more normal level so this kind of thing doesn’t come up!

It's more helpful to think of it as always under the influence (rather than drunk(. She's certainly probably never sober. Once you're at about 24 units a day, you are clinically alcoholic and PP is right, withdrawal at that point needs to be medically supervised as it can be fatal.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:39

I’ll PM in case I’m giving too many details x

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:40

That was meant to be at AndyPandy - bloody phone!!

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:40

@Prangie no problems I’ll do it straight away so you have them before bed

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