Alcoholic, but won't admit it.

Posted , 4 users are following.

I have a close family member who is drinking so heavily that they have had to give up their job. They don't eat much, don't go out and socialise, don't look after their appearance or get showered and have been found recently in a dreadful drunken state at home.

If they won't admit they have a problem, what can you do to help?


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  • Posted

    The truth is that you can't do anything to help until they recognise that they have a problem.

    All you can do is talk to them, you will get further at times when they are reasonably sober. Accusing won't help, they will simply clam up and refuse to discuss it. Suggest that they don't have to live this life, that there are options which make dealing with their problem safe and comfortable. If the person has tried to stop drinking or gone for spells without a drink because they can't afford one, they will have had extremely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms which are actually dangerous and can kill. Knowing that there is a safe medical way to get off the alcohol (detox) might get this person thinking a little bit more about how nice it might be not to be stuck in this awful cycle.

    Good luck, this is often the most difficult time for anybody close to a person with an alcohol problem.

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    • Posted

      Many Thanks Paul. Exactly the answer I wanted to confirm what I thought. I read a few discussions before I posted which mentioned some drugs which could help (if they're willing to take them). Do you know anything about them?


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    • Posted

      Yes, Alexander.

      There are benzodiazepines which is a group of drugs, examples of which are Diazepam (Valium) and Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), These are needed to prevent withdrawal symptoms. If a person is physically dependent on alcohol, they must not stop drinking abruptly because the withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even fatal. Benzodiazepines are used for an alcohol detox. The person stops drinking and takes these in high doses, initially, reducing over about 7 days and they will not suffer the serious withdrawal symptoms.

      Nalmefene is a drug which blocks the opioid receptors in the brain which get the 'reward' from drinking. This reward is much stronger in people who are pre-disposed to an alcohol problem. By blocking the receptors, alcohol doesn't give the same reward, allowing the person to, over time, unlearn their addiction and drink in a controlled way like the majority of people can. They must ALWAYS take a pill before drinking. If they drink without the pill, they can re-learn the addiction. This method, which is called 'The Sinclair Method' is having success rates of around 78% in Finland which is many times higher than the success rates of any other alcohol treatment in history. It is also popular amoung people with drink problems because it means that they don't have to struggle through the rest of their life abstaining from alcohol and having to deal with horrible cravings which dominate their life.

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  • Posted

    Oooops sorry Kind regards
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  • Posted

    Hi Alex, I have been on this site for almost three months and the knowledge I have received has been execellent.

    As Paul has mentioned Nalmefene in his reply, I would like to offer another suggestion for your family member. Now this is not a trick to play on this person (I wouldn't recommend doing it to anyone) but there is a herbal substance available just about everywhere you can pick up herbal supplements called KUDZU.

    Fairly reasonabley priced. Mine in Canadain dollars was under $20 for a one month supply.

    The label states: The roots of the common kudzu (pueriaria lobata) have used historically in China for anti-alcohol support. My only hope is you can convince this person to try a herb. Good luck.

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