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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.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

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BoreOfWhabylon · 13/10/2022 22:40

Does she drive to work? She's going to be over the limit if so. I'd be tempted to speak to the police.

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Sarahcoggles · 13/10/2022 22:41

Social services need to be involved as he child is so young. Does her ex know about this?

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Andypandy799 · 13/10/2022 22:41

BoreOfWhabylon · 13/10/2022 22:40

Does she drive to work? She's going to be over the limit if so. I'd be tempted to speak to the police.

That’s not 100% true but is possible

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theemmadilemma · 13/10/2022 22:42

I was drinking about that much before I got sober. I was very ill by that point, but that was compounded by not eating because of the alcohol, that won't be the car for everyone.

At that level I was in withdrawal in the early hours of each morning, struggling with withdrawal symptoms before I could drink enough to get on top of them and coming close to withdrawal seizures - the part that can kill.

I had to do a medical detox. Could not have done it safely without.

And I loathed alcohol by that point, I described it as a blackness, the addiction was a blackness and I needed helped getting it out of me. I hated it.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:42

@MrsTerryPratchett i thought it was risky due to withdrawals but she insisted about 6 months back she was ‘only having a drink at the weekends” and was fine. I thought it sounded like bollocks when she was telling me tbh

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:45

I’ve considered the reporting for drink driving and even looked it up on here, it didn’t seem that likely that she’d be caught out if others experiences are to go by.

She does have a drink driving conviction too but from about 15 years ago.

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ElectedOnThursday · 13/10/2022 22:45

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!

It doesn’t I leave the bloodstream quickly.

It is not up to you “what happens”. Your part is to take action. From there it will be in the hands of authorities.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:46

@theemmadilemma well done on your recovery xx

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ClaudiusTheGod · 13/10/2022 22:47

Contact the designated safeguarding lead at your god-daughter’s school and tell them. This is as important as contacting the NMC. You can talk to the DSL in confidence.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:48

@ElectedOnThursday i know it’s not up to me what happens! I meant how can it be proven, but I suppose that has now been answered in subsequent questions about it staying in your system

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Nat6999 · 13/10/2022 22:49

My late dp drank 40-50 units a day, he died 4 years after his drinking increased to what I'd a dangerous level from cirrhosis of the liver. He went from drinking 3-4 nights a week maybe 4 pints a night to being a full blown alcoholic in the space of 6 months.

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theemmadilemma · 13/10/2022 22:49

Thank you. I've just sailed past 3 years!

I will add that I agree you should report her. She cannot be functional in her job, I just don't believe that. I did hold down mine, mainly thanks to home working but I had no one's life in my hands.

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ElectedOnThursday · 13/10/2022 22:51

I work with addicts. Invariably they are extremely unwell. Compassion and care is everything. That is not the same as pussyfooting but not is it about being judgemental. As grownups in a civilised society we have a responsibility and duty to look out for the vulnerable and in this case the vulnerable are your friend and her daughter. Things can only get better for her once authorities are involved. It may not seem that way initially but no addict is happy and inevitably it takes a crisi before help arrives whether that is through the hospital, the police, child welfare services or mental health services.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:51

I agree. It’s not just herself she’s endangering, and that’s ignoring the driving part.

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SarahDippity · 13/10/2022 22:51

I think I’d be taking a solutions-based approach, as in:
you need help, this can’t go on
DD needs to stay with her dad while you get help
while you are in treatment, DD can stay with me on alternate weekends
I’ll help you tell work you need to take an extended break for recovery
lets look up residential treatment facilities
who else can we rope in as part of a care plan for DD
etc - framing it as a support system to get her to visualise her recovery

I have no experience in doing this but that would be my approach in your shoes.

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Prangie · 13/10/2022 22:52

@ElectedOnThursday thats very interesting.

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Eeksteek · 13/10/2022 23:15

Flighttodayplease · 13/10/2022 21:58

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

No worries, I didn’t take it that way at all. I had a great deal of sympathy for him for a very long time. Sadly, it wasn’t enough. I don’t think anything ever could have been.

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BMW6 · 13/10/2022 23:27

OP your friend cannot be helped until she recognises and acknowledges that she has an addiction- she is an alcoholic.
IMO the best thing you can do for her is to report her to her employer. Harsh as it sounds, she needs something to push her into reality PLUS she really must not be in such a responsible position when she is drunk.

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SquishyGloopyBum · 13/10/2022 23:45

As someone with an alcoholic parent. My childhood was marred by it. Google adult children of alcoholics to understand the effects. I've had years of therapy and it affects me every day.

All those that say mind your own business etc are wrong. I would give anything for someone to have recognised the effects on me and my siblings and helped us.

I really resent the adults who looked the other way.

I have to laugh at all the posts saying kindness and compassion is the way forward. Someone in the grip of alcoholism won't care. Won't listen. Are highly manipulative. People sat my dad down. Tried. They then felt that they had done their bit then. Fuck all effect it had.

You need to do the right thing. The kind thing for the daughter. Be the adult she needs you to be.

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buggeredmyleg · 14/10/2022 07:41

SarahDippity · 13/10/2022 22:51

I think I’d be taking a solutions-based approach, as in:
you need help, this can’t go on
DD needs to stay with her dad while you get help
while you are in treatment, DD can stay with me on alternate weekends
I’ll help you tell work you need to take an extended break for recovery
lets look up residential treatment facilities
who else can we rope in as part of a care plan for DD
etc - framing it as a support system to get her to visualise her recovery

I have no experience in doing this but that would be my approach in your shoes.

This won't work. She needs to find the solutions, not anyone else. Or she needs to face the consequences.

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FusionChefGeoff · 14/10/2022 07:58

You're getting some great advice here.

As a caring and concerned friend, beware of enabling her. If she starts asking you to help with DD / lend money etc.

It's really important that addicts / alcoholics feel the consequences of their illness as it's this and only this that gives them the personal motivation to stop. If everyone is busy keeping everything ticking over for them, they can continue in the delusion that everything is fine.

It feels harsh, but maybe 'the worst' eg her losing her job / getting convicted of drink driving / losing her daughter is what will finally kick start her recovery and is therefore 'the best' thing that could have happened to her.

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ElectedOnThursday · 14/10/2022 08:12

SquishyGloopyBum · 13/10/2022 23:45

As someone with an alcoholic parent. My childhood was marred by it. Google adult children of alcoholics to understand the effects. I've had years of therapy and it affects me every day.

All those that say mind your own business etc are wrong. I would give anything for someone to have recognised the effects on me and my siblings and helped us.

I really resent the adults who looked the other way.

I have to laugh at all the posts saying kindness and compassion is the way forward. Someone in the grip of alcoholism won't care. Won't listen. Are highly manipulative. People sat my dad down. Tried. They then felt that they had done their bit then. Fuck all effect it had.

You need to do the right thing. The kind thing for the daughter. Be the adult she needs you to be.

You think that kindness and compassion is a joke? 🤔 Interesting the level of ignorance on display. All our work with our clients, most of whom have addiction issues, is underscored by kindness and compassion. That’s why we are so successful.

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 08:22

You think that kindness and compassion is a joke? 🤔 Interesting the level of ignorance on display. All our work with our clients, most of whom have addiction issues, is underscored by kindness and compassion. That’s why we are so successful.

Ignorance? Did you read my post?

Treatment only works when alcoholics/addicts want it to work and are ready to face it. I'm not saying anyone who goes into a programme should be treated horribly. But the posts here saying sit her down and have a chat. Nope. Won't work.

My dad had years of kindness and compassion. He's still drinking himself onto an early grave. Live my life before you judge me.

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buggeredmyleg · 14/10/2022 08:27

@SquishyGloopyBum I'm sorry for what you went through.

I agree. All the compassion in the world won't make a difference if the alcoholic isn't ready to make the changes they need to.

And that compassion being demonstrated runs the risk of enabling the alcoholic.

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ElectedOnThursday · 14/10/2022 09:00

SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 08:22

You think that kindness and compassion is a joke? 🤔 Interesting the level of ignorance on display. All our work with our clients, most of whom have addiction issues, is underscored by kindness and compassion. That’s why we are so successful.

Ignorance? Did you read my post?

Treatment only works when alcoholics/addicts want it to work and are ready to face it. I'm not saying anyone who goes into a programme should be treated horribly. But the posts here saying sit her down and have a chat. Nope. Won't work.

My dad had years of kindness and compassion. He's still drinking himself onto an early grave. Live my life before you judge me.

Having an addict in the family does not make you an expert on treatment. Stop making this thread about you.

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