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Thread: Alcoholism Rehab

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Alcoholism Rehab

    My brother in law "fell off the wagon" this weekend. He hit bottom, drinking vodka at 10am, not eating for days and taking drinks to ward off the shakes. To make a long story short, his sister arrived at his doorstep at 10am and by 4 pm convinced him to go to the emergency room. Upon examination he still tested .16% blood alcohol at that point.

    He is now in day 2 of detox. I've heard that day 3 is the worst. I think they're planning on keeping him about a week and do rehab at the hospital.

    Having never gone through something like this, what should we expect in the near future? I'm thinking when he gets out his alcoholic stupor he'll deny that he has to give up drinking and that he's just going through a bad time.

    Will he need someone to stay with him for a few weeks or will he be OK on his own? He's a mid 40s bachelor. We're trying to figure out as a family if we need to rearrange schedules to set up a tag team to stay with him when he gets out of rehab. What should we as a family be doing for him?

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    The Future GoReds33's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    From what I saw on the internet, the side-effects of his detox will only last up to two weeks. I also saw something that mentioned that tremors and seizures are possible in those first two weeks. Good luck. I hope this all turns out well.
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    1st pick 2022 B.B. draft George Foster's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    I feel sorry for you and your family. You obviously love him very much and care for his well being. With that being said, until he decides he wants to kick this, the families hard work will be in vain. You cannot babysit a grown man indefinitely. He has to be his own keeper eventually. Does he have a history of falling off the wagon or is this the first time in a long time? He cannot fool himself and think he can drink socially. He must give it up...all of it...forever.

    You all are in my prayers. Good luck.
    Last edited by George Foster; 11-19-2007 at 09:56 PM.
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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    I've got family who've gotten on the wagon. It always takes longer than people on the outside want it to. You'll go from denial to a lot of lip service and you'll be floored at how irrational another human can be. You'd like to think enough of a demonstration that people care would help fix someone, that people would recognize how broken they are.

    From experience, if you haven't gone past the reasonable limits of human endurance then your drinker probably hasn't hit bottom yet.

    I also knew a guy who drank himself to death. He came from a good family, people who cared, but he had no bottom to hit. He went to top facilities, knew he had a problem, got sober a half dozen times and he still drank himself to death. Whatever it is inside that makes you stop, he never found it.
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    Bread Gloves Razor Shines's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    In the experience I've had with one family member I think M2 is correct, the person has to find that bottom and some just don't have one other than death, which was the case with my family member. Unfortunately I think the fact that your brother in law doesn't have kids (I'm assuming) will make it harder for him to find his bottom, but it's different with everyone. He could have already found his rock bottom.

    You'll be in my prayers, I know it's hard.

  7. #6
    always ask questions bigredmechanism's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    wisah i knew what to say here. i been through a lot of this with a close family member in the past. real tough times, i know what youre going through. basically, m2 hit it on the head; he needs to truly want to quit. interventions can work, but its ultimately up to him. i hope everything works out for you and your family.

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by George Foster View Post
    Does he have a history of falling off the wagon or is this the first time in a long time? He cannot fool himself and think he can drink socially. He must give it up...all of it...forever.
    This is his first time. He's always been a heavy drinker. He's someone who will drink before dinner and then when most of us are thinking about heading to bed he opts to "go out", play pool, shoot darts, etc and drink.

    In August he started a new job where he works from home. I think that's when this turned into a 'round the clock problem.

    I'm thinking he'll say he can go back to drinking socially and he'll fall off again. It may be next month or years from now but I doubt this will be it. I guess that's typically the way these things work. The truth is no family member lives closer than 600 miles from him. Our hope is that some AA member sponsors him and knows how to deal with the attitude of denial.

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    This is his first time. He's always been a heavy drinker. He's someone who will drink before dinner and then when most of us are thinking about heading to bed he opts to "go out", play pool, shoot darts, etc and drink.
    Allow me to amend this statement. The truth is you don't know for sure with alcoholics because they're so good at hiding stuff. We did learn yesterday that this is not his first detox. He was admitted to the same hospital a year ago for a 3 day drying out unbeknownst to us.

    He tried to leave yesterday but this time he has family and an orderly assigned to watch him so he cannot leave. When asked why he stopped eating last week he said " because it hurt to eat food." He's coming out of his stupor and we can ask questions. It's clear that he's still not admitting to a problem with alcohol nor will he attempt a lifestyle change at this point. Every day brings new revelations on the extent and timetable of his problem.

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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    It's clear that he's still not admitting to a problem with alcohol nor will he attempt a lifestyle change at this point.
    You have my sympathies.
    "Even a bad day at the ballpark beats the snot out of most other good days. I'll take my scorecard and pencil and beer and hot dog and rage at the dips and cheer at the highs, but I'm not ever going to stop loving this game and this team and nobody will ever take that away from me." Roy Tucker October 2010

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by dfs View Post
    You have my sympathies.
    I appreciate your thoughts. Actually we're doing fine. This is very self destructive behavior on his part. It's not our fault nor is this behavior hurting us. We live hundreds of miles away and we see him maybe one week a year. It's up to him to get better. He doesn't own a car right now so he's not drinking and driving. We (my wife and I) refuse to let his stupid decisions bring us down.

  12. #11
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Sea Ray,

    Just be prepared if your rock bottom isn't his rock bottom. You'd be amazed.

    My brother's rock bottom isn't what I thought it would be. I beleive his rock bottom is death. I expect that to happen within a year.

    He's had a ton of support, multiple rehab stints and finally we all realize there isn't much we can do. This is what he wants. Like you and your wife, I also will not let his decisions take over my life.

    I hope your outcome is better than ours. If he's into the vodka ..... he's probably been damaging his liver for longer than you realize.
    Pots and Kettles

  13. #12
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by TeamCasey View Post
    Sea Ray,

    Just be prepared if your rock bottom isn't his rock bottom. You'd be amazed.

    Thanks for relaying your experience. It helps.

    That sounds very familiar to ours.

    He's now released from his hospital rehab (4 days) and my bet is he'll be back to binging as soon as everyone leaves next week. He needs a lot more than to go to evening meetings to kick this thing.

    I'll see him over Christmas. I'll be curious as to how that plays out. Will he be drinking then? If so how do we handle it? Do we scorn him or enable him? Neither sounds like a good option. Drinking is a big part of the holidays for my in laws in general. Will they cut that out on account of his issues. Stay tuned...

  14. #13
    Member TeamCasey's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Yeah, my young cousins used to think my brother was funny on Thanksgivings. Life of the party. (Now they see how unfunny it it). My mom and I would spend the day in quiet anger and frustration. I stopped going home for holidays years ago. Not spending $1000 bucks on the trip for that nonsense.

    Just one of those things that he took from me.

    ...... and I'm no angel. There's social drinking and there's a dark side.
    Pots and Kettles

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    Resident optimist OldRightHander's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray View Post
    I appreciate your thoughts. Actually we're doing fine. This is very self destructive behavior on his part. It's not our fault nor is this behavior hurting us. We live hundreds of miles away and we see him maybe one week a year. It's up to him to get better. He doesn't own a car right now so he's not drinking and driving. We (my wife and I) refuse to let his stupid decisions bring us down.
    I like your attitude. That's kind of how I had to view things when my brother was on and off drugs for a period of years a while back. He's been clean now for a bit and we're all hoping it will last, but there was a while there where I just had to distance myself from everything and keep my own life in order.

  16. #15
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Alcoholism Rehab

    Since I started this saga, I figure I owe it to those interested to give an update.

    My brother in law had another problem a week ago. It was very similar to before. He was too drunk to make it to work, stopped eating and generally completely out of it. Again we put him in the hospital to dry out and go through detox. This isn't a fun scene to witness. On about day 3 the patient gets very agitated and sometimes violent. It gets so bad they have to strap in the legs and arms. They have to monitor high blood pressure and heart rates. In order to combat this they set up IVs with very high doses of Valium.

    A week later he's still not out. He still doesn't accept the seriousness of his problem but they are hopeful that he'll get into a rehab program this week. Whether he takes it to heart, I don't know. He needs to get locked up in Betty Ford for a month but most ordinary people's insurance doesn't cover such a program. My wife's been watching over him leaving me to play Mr Mom, but oh well. I don't know if this episode will work out any better than the one in November but apparently that experience didn't teach him anything.


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