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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?

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 09:09

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

Wow. If that's the kind of compassion you show in your work then... wow.

I hope it makes you feel good.

Never said I was an expert either.

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 09:10

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.

Thank you. I completely agree with what you say.

It's a terrible disease for all involved.

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EddieHowesBlackandWhiteArmy · 14/10/2022 09:12

Definitely report firstly to her employer if you have a genuine concern that she is under the influence whilst at work. I can categorically say they won’t test her or anything but it might just be the final piece in a jumbled up jigsaw for them. And if nothing else it will force a sit down between them and her and she may open up and try to get help. It may be that there have been a few instances where someone has thought she was drunk or under the influence but there is no evidence and this adds to the wider picture. Hopefully Occupational Health will be involved and it might be the start of some positive steps.

reporting to the NMC at this stage would be fruitless as they will rely on her to give them information and they will contact her employer. If her employer is unaware and she denies then there is nowhere for the NMC to go and it is unlikely to get past screening.

what I will say is, it’s not illegal to be an alcoholic and a midwife. If she keeps her drinking to off duty and is not under the influence at work (not drinking before a shift for example) then it’s up to her what and how much alcohol she ingests.

Good luck. It’s a difficult situation to be in.

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EddieHowesBlackandWhiteArmy · 14/10/2022 09:15

Sorry my penultimate paragraph reads a bit cold, obviously alcoholism is a horrendous disease, I meant from the perspective of the NMC and her employer.

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NoSquirrels · 14/10/2022 09:18

Can you talk to her ex - your goddaughters father?

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justanoldhack · 14/10/2022 09:46

As a child of alcoholics, and also someone about to have a baby soon, please, please report her!

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Toddlerteaplease · 14/10/2022 09:48

Keyansier · 13/10/2022 20:16

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

This. They need to know, before something catastrophic happens.

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Faciadipasta · 14/10/2022 09:55

@SquishyGloopyBum I'm sorry that you had such an awful response. To the PP who thinks they know more about addiction that you do I'd say they are clearly deluded and ridiculously self important.
No one knows addiction better than someone who has either been an addict or who has lived with one with no escape.
FWIW I was also the child of an alcoholic who eventually very sadly drank herself to death. Alcoholics don't fucking need 'kindness and compassion' unless like you said - they have taken / are taking the steps to try and stop. The ONLY thing that can work for most addicts is rock bottom, not enabling. NOTHING else is enough. Not their kids, their partner, nothing else matters as much.
And sadly for some.even rock bottom.isnt enough.

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Mowglii · 14/10/2022 09:57

I agree that you need to make a report to her employer or professional body.

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redskyhaze · 14/10/2022 09:59

Definitely report it to her work. I know it will feel like you are going behind her back but that is actually about the safety of all the people she is responsible for.

It is a terrifying thought that a midwife delivering a baby could be drunk.

You also could see yourself as having a duty of care to her daughter as her godparent. This is about more than just your friend and that's why you need to step in and report it to relevant professionals.

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MatildaTheCat · 14/10/2022 10:09

I’d agree about reporting your concerns to her workplace. I’d also add that the NHS have a lot of experience in treating their employees suffering from addiction and she may find that there is a lot of support available and certainly sick leave can be generous.

Be specific in your allegations/ concerns as it’s difficult to act on vague accusations.

Im sorry you are in such a difficult situation. I don’t know the age of her child but it would also be worth contacting her school if that’s appropriate.

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Spidey66 · 14/10/2022 10:15

I agree with reporting her to the NMC. She could be harming women and babies.

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 10:16

Faciadipasta · 14/10/2022 09:55

@SquishyGloopyBum I'm sorry that you had such an awful response. To the PP who thinks they know more about addiction that you do I'd say they are clearly deluded and ridiculously self important.
No one knows addiction better than someone who has either been an addict or who has lived with one with no escape.
FWIW I was also the child of an alcoholic who eventually very sadly drank herself to death. Alcoholics don't fucking need 'kindness and compassion' unless like you said - they have taken / are taking the steps to try and stop. The ONLY thing that can work for most addicts is rock bottom, not enabling. NOTHING else is enough. Not their kids, their partner, nothing else matters as much.
And sadly for some.even rock bottom.isnt enough.

Thank you.

And I'm sorry you have had a similar experience to me.

I agree 100% with what you say.

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Faciadipasta · 14/10/2022 10:17

Report to her work for sure. But you also need to help her poor daughter out. I'm not sure what the best route for that is. The school maybe?

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Prangie · 14/10/2022 10:18

Thank you everyone so much for your advice and opinions. It's been really helpful.

The issue I have now is that she is lying to me about her drinking so regardless of any approach I just get lied to. I know it sounds awful but if it wasn't for her lovely daughter I would have reached the end of my tether, a lot of this is for her now really.

I agree enormously about the drunk at work scenario, but I didn't have enough understanding about how long she would be under the influence while it no longer being obvious, if that makes sense. I know she doesn't (well, reasonably sure) she doesn't drink before work as such unless she has been on a night shift - then she'll drink using the excuse that the shift had been horrendous etc before, presumably, going to sleep for a while. I suppose it still being in her system by 8pm should have been obvious to me, I am starting to feel quite naive!

The drinking, and denying it, at 10am was on a day off. Hardly ideal by any stretch but I just wanted to reiterate that point.

Her ex is an arse, he'd be nothing but smug and gloating if I told him there was a problem. I know there were certainly issues with her drinking when she was with him, and she used to hide bottles, but his way of dealing with it was to point out that that was why she was fat and ugly - hence, speaking to him, regardless of their daughter, isn't an option.

@EddieHowesBlackandWhiteArmy so even just letting them know will be a good step as they'll be on the look out for any signs? I don't know why, considering the evidence, that I am worried she'd get away with it somehow (they'd be convinced she was okay or believe whatever excuse she came up with about whoever reported her) and it'd end up being forgotten. It's obviously shocking if that is likely, but I suppose I just don't know!

@Andypandy799 Thank you for your message and advice on here. It's been really useful to read info from your angle and I assumed AA was just for the alcoholic themselves, or at least needed the alcoholic to admit they had a problem in the first place!

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LickThis · 14/10/2022 10:36

@ElectedOnThursday you are a tit and they are not making it about them @SquishyGloopyBum I hope that one person's foolish comments don't stop you from speaking out about how you feel
I'm really cross on your behalf

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EddieHowesBlackandWhiteArmy · 14/10/2022 10:37

@Prangie i think it’s worth reporting it to them, state you would like to remain anonymous (if you would) but you are coming at this from a place of concern for your friend and to see if there is any support that can be put in place, but also because you are aware that her job has significant responsibility and she is not being honest regarding her alcohol intake. It might end up with nothing being done bar a discussion in the first instance but her employer will be on notice and therefore more alert to things which may previously have slipped under the radar. It may be that they have suspicions but nothing firm to go on and your report might be the extra piece of evidence they need to take action. NHS Trusts are well versed in providing support to staff with addiction issues, it is a health problem and they will support as far as possible.

If they are unable to support then they will refer to the NMC by which time there will be a body of evidence the NMC can use to take action. Unless you or her employer have any evidence that her drinking has affected her fitness to practise then the NMC’s hands are tied as they can’t act without evidence.

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MrsSkylerWhite · 14/10/2022 10:40

Higgeldypiggeldy35 · Yesterday 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“

this ^

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Prangie · 14/10/2022 10:43

Thanks @EddieHowesBlackandWhiteArmy this is really helpful.

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justanoldhack · 14/10/2022 10:45

If she is drinking that much, I will bet you anything she is drinking while at work. Alcoholics can not control when they drink.

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Prangie · 14/10/2022 10:46

What about driving under the influence? I am well aware that that is probably the case too, even if it is the morning after the night before. I don't know if police resources stretch to the extent of looking out for particular drivers! I am also wondering if she would be clear if she was stopped at the end of a shift - it'll be hard to know which shift she is on without asking questions which would seem a bit unusual.

Again, I am unsure how things work so I don't mind anyone explaining things to me like I'm 12!!

Thanks again everyone x

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 10:52

LickThis · 14/10/2022 10:36

@ElectedOnThursday you are a tit and they are not making it about them @SquishyGloopyBum I hope that one person's foolish comments don't stop you from speaking out about how you feel
I'm really cross on your behalf

Thank you! I was feeling pretty rubbish but kind comments from you and others help. Flowers

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SquishyGloopyBum · 14/10/2022 10:54

Prangie · 14/10/2022 10:46

What about driving under the influence? I am well aware that that is probably the case too, even if it is the morning after the night before. I don't know if police resources stretch to the extent of looking out for particular drivers! I am also wondering if she would be clear if she was stopped at the end of a shift - it'll be hard to know which shift she is on without asking questions which would seem a bit unusual.

Again, I am unsure how things work so I don't mind anyone explaining things to me like I'm 12!!

Thanks again everyone x

Would you know if she has a shift after one of her days off drinking? If so you can report that there is a driver under the influence at x-am. No guarantee but is a start? Or you could call crime stoppers or 111 for advice?

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Prangie · 14/10/2022 10:57

I probably would, yes. As I am asking these things I am also realising that I can probably work out the answers but I am still grateful for everyone's input nonetheless!

@SquishyGloopyBum xxx to you

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tazzy73 · 14/10/2022 10:57

I'd also think she would be drinking during her shifts.
I've dealt with alcoholics through work and hospitals have easy access to alcohol. They drink the spirigel for sanitising hands on the wards.
With the amount of alcohol mentioned in your post she would need a medical detox.
You are definitely caught between a rock and a hard place. I do think you need to report her, she may never speak to you again but could you have a babies death on your conscience or something happening to your god daughter if she's in the car.

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