Alcohol and Pills

by Jennifer

(Los Angeles ca)

My father is an alcoholic and has been for as long as I can remember. I didn’t start to notice things until i was 19 or so, but he has been drinking all my life.

It has effected me so much in my life that I’ve become depressed because of his abuse. As he is getting older, he’s 69 years old right now, he is on pills for anxiety and he still drinks beer with these pills.

You know he’s on something cause he’s slams things like doors and cabinets. When he’s putting away dishes he’s banging things around.

Whenever my mother says something to him he gets all loud and they end up fighting. He blames her for a lot of things that don’t make sense. I don’t know why she won’t leave him, they sleep in different rooms, and she is so annoyed with who he is, it rubs off on me and makes it hard for me to be around either of them.

I’ve tried to talk to him about it but it seems like he won’t get help. How can i make it clear to him that he needs to get help? Is it possible to talk to a doctor that is giving him the medicine? Is it legal for the doctor to continue the medication if he knows he patient is abusing it?

I also need help for my depression and my anger towards him and my other family members who never step up to help and I’m the youngest. I feel like everyone just allowed this to happen.

I need help!

Family United

by: Ned Wicker

Dear Jennifer,
Your older brothers and sisters don’t hang around because they grew up with it too and have chosen to detach themselves. You father is showing all of the classic signs, but there is very little you can really do about it.

However, you might try Al-anon and see if their members have ideas for you. The organization is designed to help family members who need a plan to help someone they love. Your mother is just trying to get by and she needs all the support you can give her. Al-anon would be good for her.

Alcoholics in denial will blame everyone else for their trouble. Even though your father is 69 years-old, he reasons like a child. There are no consequences for his actions, so he just does what he does.

Do the others come around and see him? You say they don’t help out, but do they visit? What if the entire family gets together for a meeting? Talk to each other and for a plan to get dad into treatment. If I am getting the picture right, it looks like dad sort of pushes everybody away. If he refuses to get help, maybe you stay away. Call it tough love, call it drawing a line in the sand, but obviously your dad needs help.

Maybe you can ask a doctor about prescribing pills to a patient who is an alcoholic. It sounds like the combination is nasty. People try to push the limits of anything, so your father’s behavior is predictable.

Between the pills and the drinking, what makes him unhappy? What hurts inside? His attempts to feel better, or normal are to him far more important than the love of his family, so what is driving this?

What you can tell a doctor about a family member.

by: Michael in MA

It is fine to bring his actions to his doctors attention through a letter or any other means for that matter. The alcoholism will show in his liver function tests and there are tests for long term abuse. The doctor can not comment or give you feedback due to hippa laws. But certainly you can bring it to his attention. Also get yourself to some Al-anon meetings to help yourself.

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