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janbb's avatar

If you felt a close relative was drinking a lot would you say anything to them?

Asked by janbb (62671points) 2 weeks ago

Alcoholism is not in my experience so I don’t know much about how to deal with it. I don’t think this person is one but I’ve seen them drink a lot on weekends. I don’t want to reveal much more but I could use some opinions. They have not indicated concern.

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19 Answers

jca2's avatar

I would be really hesitant because I wouldn’t want to isolate their affection. Also I wouldn’t want to seem like I’m lecturing or being nosy. I would be very tempted to comment, for sure, but I’d probably figure it’s best to stay quiet about it.

chyna's avatar

No, I would be afraid I would push them away. Hopefully, another close relative will see this behavior and talk to them.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have been sober from alcohol for 24 years. There are jellies here who have been sober longer. I hope they will also comment.

I would not say anything. The only time people spoke to me about my drinking, I reacted very badly. I shunned them.

I understand the concern. It was recently brought to my attention that a friend is drinking a lot, and it appears that it’s also on the weekends. I can’t say anything to this person. I can only be a good friend. That trust is what I hope he will remember when he decides he wants to stop or cut back.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Oh yes I would, zero hesitation. I love my friends and family and they know it comes from a good place.
Sometimes they do get irritated and that’s okay, all we can do is plant a seed. Good luck.

Caravanfan's avatar

Yes. I talked to my sister about it. She died anyway.

zenvelo's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake and I come from the same viewpoint. It is not my place to monitor another’s drinking, There are two caveats to that though: one is to not be hesitant to set boundaries so that their drinking does not disrupt your life.

The second is to be aware enough around them that if they ever bring up a concern about their drinking, that they know help is available.

kevbo1's avatar

I work in addiction recovery, so I’m mainly speaking from that perspective.

From the details above, it’s not unreasonable to say that you don’t know what you don’t know. We also don’t know if this person is young and partying or old and dealing with an acute episode of grief or loneliness. If your relative’s increased drinking is not alcoholism, then we might generously say that it is about elevating feelings for pleasure or numbing out pain.

Another aspect you don’t know is that you may only be seeing some of the behavior. If it’s alcoholism, then very likely there is secrecy around drinking or drinking in isolation in addition to the public drinking. Secrecy and isolation are very common with any addiction.

One aspect of this that should be your primary focus is wrapping your head around the nature of an alcoholic’s relationship with alcohol and what that means for your boundaries in your relationship with your relative. If you are doing it right, then the bulk of your concern will be caring about your relative within the confines of those boundaries.

seawulf575's avatar

I guess it would depend on the person and their drinking. If their personality changed when they drank, if they were on medications that could be impacted by drinking, if they routinely made bad decisions while drinking I would definitely say something. If they don’t drink during the week but limit it to weekends and it isn’t causing any problems I’d likely take a wait-and-see approach.

I have a neighbor that has a drinking problem. He makes bad decisions, it interferes with medicines, he gets personality changes, and he has already sought help for alcoholism. Yet he persists. I don’t hesitate to step in when I see him starting down that path.

flutherother's avatar

I mentioned it to a close relative once by referring to my experience with alcohol rather than theirs. Perhaps they got my message as they have more or less given up drinking alcohol.

Forever_Free's avatar

I would say something in a very caring respectful way. How they take it is up to them.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I guess you have to start with what is “a lot.” I have close friends who will throw down quite a bit on occasion, but I’m not worried about them at all. Then there are others who do it regularly, and it’s them I worry about, even if it’s not that much. It’s the “how often” that raises flags if you ask me. It’s really hard to determine if you should say anything.

JLeslie's avatar

I most likely would.

filmfann's avatar

I have several family members who drink a lot. Some can handle it, some can’t.
I tell them all “Alcohol is not your friend!”

Pandora's avatar

I have told them. I’ve even told them never to visit me if they have to be liquored up. When they complain about how tired they have been or how often they have been sick I always tell them there is an easy fix. Stop drinking. Or I tell them I don’t believe they are sick of feeling this way because they keep working on destroying their health and families with their drinking. But I won’t be around them when they drink. They become nasty and whiney. Some become funny drunks and some get nasty because they use it as an excuse to be nasty. I never buy its from being drunk. I can’t tolerate drunks and especially the nasty kind.

SnipSnip's avatar

It’s not about being a relative, it’s about how close the two of us might be. I would say something to someone with whom I have shared other difficult problems.

Pandora's avatar

@janbb I just remembered a time my daughter was brought home stinking drunk by her friend. They went to a bar and some guys were buying her drinks. Her friend had to intervene and argue with her not to drink anymore and get the bartender to help. Luckily her friend bought her home and I took pictures of all the stupid things she did and a small recording of her talking about feeling sick and crying. You can tell that sometimes she didn’t know what was going on. So I showed her the next day and explained how her friend got to witness all of that along with the vomiting. I explained to her, that it’s okay to drink on occasion to mellow out but never okay to drink beyond her limit. She left herself vulnerable to strangers in a bar. Her friend was one female against two males. If they were more aggressive there would be nothing she could do.

They got nasty with her because she was blocking them, and I also pointed out that it makes her look foolish in public not funny or adorable. Well, that was years ago and she never got that drunk again. At least not that I know of. She was so embarrassed and had to apologize to her friend a whole lot. But I know she doesn’t drink much now for sure. If you give her a glass a wine or one beer, she’s off to take a nap. Oh, yeah, she was pissed at me for filming and taking pictures but I pointed out that I needed proof of her behavior or she wouldn’t believe me and I needed to show her what others would see or hear.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@zenvelo “It is not my place to monitor another’s drinking,” Thank you for writing that. Well put.

jonsblond's avatar

If the drinking is not affecting their work or personal life I would stay quiet.

snowberry's avatar

My hubby was drinking every night for a while- wine and hard liquor. My daughters and I noticed, so we confronted him about it. If I had talked to him alone, he’d have brushed me off, but because there were 3 of us, he stopped drinking nightly. Now it’s every once in a while.

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