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Old 06-19-2017, 04:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unsure what to tell a friend...


So a very good friend of mine has struggled on and off with severe alcoholism for years. He got sober for about four years, but recently relapsed and it seems every time I see him he's wasted and tries to lie about it. I have a lot of empathy for him as this was me many times, and he and all my other friends were very supportive when I got sober.

He's finally come clean and told me he wants to get sober, but has been relying on hard liquor for the past few weeks and can't stop. He asked me to help him taper down with controlled use of beer. I told him it would be much safer and more successful to go into a detox facility.... He flat out refuses. He doesn't want his girlfriend to watch him like this and says I'm the only one who can help him.

I tried tapering after a relapse about a year ago and was totally unsuccessful. I want to help him, but I just don't know about this. It makes me nervous to be responsible for monitoring someone who a) has a history of lying about drinking and b) might have things hidden and will just get wasted in front of me. What would you do?! Thanks :-)
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi, VN.
It doesn't matter if it's beer or vodka. It's all alcohol andd equally detrimental.
As to helping your friend taper, I would be very leery of being put in the position of alcohol police.
It would be hard on both of you.
You are not the only one who can help him.
You are the only one HE wants to help him.
I would keep talking about medical detox, stressing that it is the safest and most potentially successful way to go.
I also don't think your friend is ready to quit yet, hence his reluctance to go to a facility.
He, like most of us, probably cherishes the idea that he can drink "normally."
Peace. Good luck.
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I questioned him regarding that when he spoke about detox like it was a prison. I'm not sure if he's ready, but bit should he be... Almost an entire bottle of vodka a day! I guess my main concern was that he would try to do it in his own anyway, with or without someone to monitor his intake. I told him I tried with disastrous results... He seems confident he can do it. Probably more evidence he's not truly ready to quit. :-/
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would say so, yes. Detoxing on your own after a time of constant heavy drinking is dangerous.
My sib had a withdrawal related seizure that left him with neurological damage.
That is not something you want to be involved in.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:06 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by VigilanceNow View Post
What would you do?
I'd say no.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I couldn't be party to a bad science experiment - friend needs professional help. You've shared it didn't work for you and that's all we have is our experience.
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd also recommend he seek professional help. Remember that as active alcoholics we are also master of manipulation...and you don't want become an enabler either. He needs to make the decision for himself and while it's human nature to want to help, you really can't make him quit if he's not ready.

Also remember you are new to sobriety yourself and you need to protect that. Boundaries are important, even with close friends.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Boy, you are in a tough spot. I can see wanting to help a friend, but alcohol withdrawal is a medical condition and I wouldn't want to be responsible for that. I'd offer support, but not take responsibility for his actions. He was adult enough to get into this mess, he can be adult enough to get out of it, even if it means a trip to detox or rehab. Its the mature way to approach it.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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What would you say if he asked you to perform a medical operation on him, or prescribee drugs to him? Same difference here. You are not qualified to involve yourself in this. Maybe offer to go with him to the docs to find out what his options are. Point him in the direction of this place. Remind him that AA is available. But basically if he's not ready to take responsibility for his own recovery he's unlikely to stay sober anyway. Maybe his rock bottom will need to be a bit deeper.

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Old 06-19-2017, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks for these responses everyone! And for bringing me back to my senses. I can't believe I even considered doing that. I ended up telling him that I would be happy to take him to a hospital detox, but could not in good conscience try to remedy a medical emergency myself. He was not happy, but understood. I'm kind of waiting for him to call me and ask for a hospital ride, bcause he had the shakes and sweatiness when I saw him last. Or he just turned back to his vodka... Not a lot I could do. I'm hoping he makes the right decision eventually, but I did mention to him as well that I am newly sober and it's really not fair to ask me to do that. I could easily relapse myself trying to ration his beer. Ah alcohol... Cunning, baffling, powerful indeed :-/
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