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Old 27.12.2010, 11:28
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Meisie! It is very difficult to watch someone suffering from addiction of any sort! I do believe that the road to recovery is quite a personal experience. I believe Switzerland is better at offering support than perhaps the states. I really appreciate the 12 step programs. I have participated in Alanon - which is for the friends and family of alcoholics. Which I suggest for you if you are open to it - you will learn so much and get needed support. There are English speaking meetings in Geneva and I believe in Zurich as well - you can google. There is also a lot of on-line support and chat rooms. And yes, unless he is open to some path of recovery, it will be tough. Alot of alcoholics can be stubborn - "I can do it alone" sort of thing. You just have to be patient. At least he admitted to having a problem - that's the first step. L
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Old 27.12.2010, 11:32
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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Hmmm I think labelling him an alcoholic is maybe a bit too strong, as you say he can go for months without touching a drop, whereas an alcoholic cannot function without, or go for a couple of hours without consuming alcohol as they are totally dependant on alcohol - doesn't sound like your friend. True he does have a problem with knowing where to stop when he does start partying - a solution could be limiting the amount of cash he has with him or has access to when he goes out.

It seems to me he has more of a conscience problem then a drinking problem. Also it is really easy to spend 60 grand in clubs in switzerland, especially if you are in a group.

Getting plastered every now and then is not alcoholism in my opinion but just stupidity.
A social dependancy on alcohol, perhaps? That is still a problem with alcohol.

And, I beg to differ - an alcoholic CAN go for days, weeks, months without alcohol. Being able to, is often used as one of the denial strategies. Also. not all alcoholics show signs of being drunk.
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Old 27.12.2010, 12:43
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

Hi Meisie

A big positive in this sad situation is that your friend has finally admitted to having a problem. Without that, nothing can change for the better because it has to come from within first.

He is fortunate to be surrounded by caring people, like you, who want to help him beat this addiction problem once and for all. That is also a huge plus.

Although I have no direct experience (ie myself, immediate family and close friends) of the havoc this affliction can cause to the sufferer, their family and friends, I have seen what it has done to the lives of colleagues and acquaintances who have, so I really do feel for you.

This thread has already generated a lot of excellent advice as a result of your posting, none better than from those who have been there and recovered. Thank you for sharing your situation with us.
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Old 27.12.2010, 12:58
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

There are two issues when dealing with alcoholism

- the addiction itself
- why did the person begin drinking so much in the first place? (lack of self-esteem, etc.)

For alcoholism to be treated successfully, both issues must be faced.
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Old 27.12.2010, 13:04
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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Hmmm I think labelling him an alcoholic is maybe a bit too strong, as you say he can go for months without touching a drop, whereas an alcoholic cannot function without, or go for a couple of hours without consuming alcohol as they are totally dependant on alcohol
Sorry but you are wrong - there are different types of alcoholics. Some, as you say, drink every day, others go through phases of uncontrolled drinking with 'dry' periods inbetween.
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Old 27.12.2010, 14:18
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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He will go for months without touching a drop but then the urge gets too strong and he'll go out and get totally plastered. So much so that he once thought he had mortally wounded someone in a fight (turns out he didn't). He also once blew CHF 60,000 in one night at clubs and bars and could not remember how. He gets crazy when he is drunk, a completely different person to who he normally is.

Any advice I could pass on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Dont think he is an Alcoholic but more of a Wannabe. Dont let him watch MTV and programmes like Lifestyles of rich and famous and magazines like Hello and Heat.

Next time hes going out to get plastered and blow CHF 60K, tell him to contact me. Will make all that effort seriously worthwhile.
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  #27  
Old 27.12.2010, 14:23
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

Thank you all so much for your words of advice (except for you Mr. Wasted! ) especially those of you who related your personal experiences. *sigh* let's hope 2011 brings about a positive change.
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Old 27.12.2010, 14:33
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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Thank you all so much for your words of advice (except for you Mr. Wasted! ) especially those of you who related your personal experiences. *sigh* let's hope 2011 brings about a positive change.
That is so rude! My advice was the most realistic and practical one! I'll groan you next time.

If you think thats not useful than take him out drinking, get him totally plastered and make a video of him acting stupid while hes drunk or photos of him throwing up.

Hang those pics all around his room, and mention them all the time till he gets mentally traumatised and stops drinking.

If that fails get him hooked up on drugs, that will solve the alcohol problem to quite some extent.
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Old 27.12.2010, 14:46
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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That is so rude! My advice was the most realistic and practical one! I'll groan you next time.

If you think thats not useful than take him out drinking, get him totally plastered and make a video of him acting stupid while hes drunk or photos of him throwing up.

Hang those pics all around his room, and mention them all the time till he gets mentally traumatised and stops drinking.

If that fails get him hooked up on drugs, that will solve the alcohol problem to quite some extent.
You're a funny troll I mean guy, groan me all you want.... I couldn't care less. Here's another for you:
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Old 27.12.2010, 14:52
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

Being an ex-girlfriend of an addict and grown up in a family of addicts I can suggest the following:

1. I think the advice has to be given to you and not to him.
You need to examine why you want to help him so desparately.
It looks that you want to help him more than he wants to help himself.
You do not seem to have an alcohol problem, but then what?
Be selfish, think about yourself. Get a life, get sober friends, go out. Treat him as a normal adult person and expect as much from him as from anyone else. This is not your problem. This is his problem.

2. He does not know how to deal with it but refused all reasonable suggestions up to now.

3. Hardcoded or not, genetic or not, bad childhood memories, etc, whatever - he is an alcoholic. He has got two choices: go on with it or go into treatment.

4. AA helps to a lot of people but it does not do a miracle in one day.

5. Probably rehab would be the best option for him.

6. I watch Intervention and Celebrity Rehab, and read some books and articles about addiction. These are not miracle patches but do help a lot understanding addiction.


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I have a very close friend who is an alcoholic and has been one for about 10 years.

He will go for months without touching a drop but then the urge gets too strong and he'll go out and get totally plastered. So much so that he once thought he had mortally wounded someone in a fight (turns out he didn't). He also once blew CHF 60,000 in one night at clubs and bars and could not remember how. He gets crazy when he is drunk, a completely different person to who he normally is.

For years I (as well as others) have warned him of his problem. He refused to take any advice (did try AA once but said it didnt help him) and I have finally accepted the fact that the only way he is going to get out of this is for him to hit rock bottom and lose everything and everyone who loves him.

It happened again this weekend and he has finally admitted to having a problem. He doesn't know how to deal with it. I don't know what advice to give him. He comes from a family full of raging alcoholics and substance abusers so it's something that hard-coded into him.

Any advice I could pass on would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  #31  
Old 27.12.2010, 14:59
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

Your comment is cynical (however it is true).
Even if it is true, probably the message does not go through to the OP.
Taking pictures/videos is a good idea.

Getting hooked on drugs: that is a possibility (60 grands spilled on what?) but replacing substance does not "cure" addiction.

Oh yes, comment to the OP: do not eat all his lies. 60 grands are missing and he does not remember. Come on.


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That is so rude! My advice was the most realistic and practical one! I'll groan you next time.

If you think thats not useful than take him out drinking, get him totally plastered and make a video of him acting stupid while hes drunk or photos of him throwing up.

Hang those pics all around his room, and mention them all the time till he gets mentally traumatised and stops drinking.

If that fails get him hooked up on drugs, that will solve the alcohol problem to quite some extent.
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  #32  
Old 27.12.2010, 15:02
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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........

Oh yes, comment to the OP: do not eat all his lies. 60 grands are missing and he does not remember. Come on.
I don't actually believe much of what he says.
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  #33  
Old 27.12.2010, 15:09
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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I don't actually believe much of what he says.
I think that is also wise - for as long as he lies to himself you won't get to the truth.
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Old 27.12.2010, 15:30
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

There are lots of people who for whatever reason, are incredibly impulsive. Often, it seems to go along with having a tendency toward addiction - alcohol, drugs, sex, shopping, gambling. I don't know enough about diagnostic criteria for alcoholism, but from what you describe your friend is certainly impulsive. And strong impulse behavior with out an ability to self regulate is really, really dangerous. I know he doesn't want to see a doctor, but would rather "heal himself", but he really needs some sort of behavioral help for impulse control. Is he an alcoholic? Is he trying to ease some pain by drinking? Hard to say.

I knew someone who had an issue with drugs. He worked in pharmaceuticals and was caught synthesizing for his own use. I don't exactly know what happened next, except that there was some time in rehab. There was just so much lying. I know he is still alive, still working in the same field, so I assume he's cleaned up. It's been years. But the lying is the worst part... that and the self destruction.

But it's difficult - sometimes people have to totally hit bottom before they can go back up. I hope your friend will let someone help him.
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Old 27.12.2010, 17:26
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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If he is fascinated by his lifestyle, you talk to a wall.
As soon as he feels good again and he's got the means for it, there's nothing you can do about it, he's back into it all all over again and again.
Nobody's circumstances are ever fully identic so you won't know really for sure what will be the trigger to stop this nor what was the trigger to get it all started.
All posts are really quite helpful - I especially liked this one as the fellow in question can apparently stay "dry" for quite a while, then something triggers a behavioural chain ....

As mentioned, to find what triggers it will be difficult but as he's not plastered every day it's not habitual. Find the trigger..... easier said than done.

Person like that are to be pitied, even if they scare the rest of us. I wish you strength!
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  #36  
Old 27.12.2010, 17:37
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

what if you (or a family member he can trust) took away his access to funds (i.e. credit or cash cards etc) and left him with only enough for a sandwich or pizza every night?

Is that a feasible option?
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Old 27.12.2010, 17:39
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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There are two issues when dealing with alcoholism

- the addiction itself
- why did the person begin drinking so much in the first place? (lack of self-esteem, etc.)

For alcoholism to be treated successfully, both issues must be faced.
not necessarily true... it is easy enough to start drinking socially and slowly slide down the slippery slope...
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Old 27.12.2010, 17:43
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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Getting plastered every now and then is not alcoholism in my opinion but just stupidity.
I agree that Î wouldn't class this sort of once-in-a-while binge drinking as alcoholism.

Moreoever, I don't think the occasional binge is that unhealthy or stupid. It very much depends on the context, degree and what exactly the drinker is like when they're drunk. Yes . . . getting into a fight or spending thousands of pounds is stupid. Having one too many with your friends in a pub on a Saturday night isn't really that bad.
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Old 27.12.2010, 17:44
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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what if you (or a family member he can trust) took away his access to funds (i.e. credit or cash cards etc) and left him with only enough for a sandwich or pizza every night?

Is that a feasible option?
For someone who only problem drinks once every few months? Doesn't sound like it.
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Old 27.12.2010, 17:49
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Re: Advice on alcoholism

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what if you (or a family member he can trust) took away his access to funds (i.e. credit or cash cards etc) and left him with only enough for a sandwich or pizza every night?

Is that a feasible option?
I had a girlfriend a gazillion years ago who was constanly low on cash but she always found some way to get her hands on dubious substances. Once you're hooked you'll focus all your brain cells on how to get the next kick.

So even if somebody controls the funds the addict would have to be under constant surveillance..... we are not in a police state.....

sigh, I know it's a terrible situation.
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