Is my sister an alcoholic? - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Is my sister an alcoholic?

We had a family reunion this past weekend. We're all grown with our own families and live thousands of miles apart so we don't see each other very much. It was nice seeing everyone with the notable exception of my older sister.

She was nasty, bitter, sarcastic, taking shots mostly at me but also making this unpleasant for everyone else. She got drunk, really drunk twice during the long weekend to the point that she was rambling nonsensically. We asked her at different times about how much she drinks and got answers anywhere from 1-2 bottles per night. Her boyfriend is a park ranger and he's furious with her for not only drinking but driving while impaired (yet he's done nothing about it except express his displeasure).

Is she an alcoholic? What even is an alcholic. From what I've read, you either drink or you don't. If you drink, then it's occasionally for social reasons, or it's with regularity. If a person drinks regularly, it's either well controlled or it's in excess. If it's in excess then it's either to the point of being a problem or it isn't. There's no definite line between "being an alcoholic" or not, as far as I understand it, it's just a meaningless label.

Anyway, she seems to be a problem drinker and it's hard to sit by while someone you love and care about is in danger. Anyone here experience this? What can be done especially given the distance? Forget about trying to engage the boyfriend he's useless. You'd think a law enforcement officer would have the tools to deal with it but he hasn't done a freaking thing and they've been together for years and he tells me she's been like this for as long as he's known her.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:10 AM
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Cool Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

Having lived with a borderline alcoholic, my RSXW, I can unequivocally say that your sister shows the true signs of being just that!

For her and everyone else's sake, I pray that she doesn't drive or has small kids under her watch!

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

She never had any kids, but from what her boyfriend says she does drive impaired.

She's in denial, she doesn't think she's got any big problem, but aren't they always like that?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:16 AM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

If her drinking is daily, and is causing her problems with family, work, and life in general, then she has a drinking problem and may need to be evaluated by a licensed abuse counselor.

Alcoholism is a chronic, morbid, physical and psychological dependency on alcohol. It is a disease.

If she does not drink daily or only drinks at gatherings, or she only gets drunk and nasty at these specific occasions and abstains the rest of the time, then I would say what she is doing is called "alcohol abuse". Alcohol abuse is different from alcohol "dependency", because she is not chronically using alcohol hourly or daily. You can abuse alcohol at a party or family get together and make a jerk out of yourself, but that does not necessarily mean you are alcohol dependent. College kids abuse alcohol when they party and get sh!tfaced, but not all of them are alcoholics nor will all of them become alcoholics.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:18 AM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

Do you house sit for her or visit her home often? Next time you do, do some sleuthing. Snoop in her closet, up on the shelves, behind her clothes, in boxes, in her cubbies, under the bed.....and look for booze. Most chronic alcoholics have stashes of alcohol everywhere...sometimes even hidden in plain site.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

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Originally Posted by bandit.45 View Post
Do you house sit for her or visit her home often? Next time you do, do some sleuthing. Snoop in her closet, up on the shelves, behind her clothes, in boxes, in her cubbies, under the bed.....and look for booze. Most chronic alcoholics have stashes of alcohol everywhere...sometimes even hidden in plain site.
As I wrote in the first post we live thousands of miles apart and see each other perhaps once per year.

As far as I know the drinking is not causing her difficulties with work and as far as family goes it's just her and her boyfriend when except the rare times we get together.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 11:25 AM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

Yep, most keep booze in plain sight so you don't think they drink that much. The hide the good stuff. They also don't eat much. Did her face look red? Most (not all) alcoholics have that look on their face. You can just tell.

Try this for giggles: http://www.rehabs.com/explore/your-face-as-alcoholic/
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:12 PM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

Alcoholism is a disease. Without being close to her consistently, you really have no way of knowing if she's a problem drinker or an alcoholic. And yes, there's a difference. Regardless, there really isn't much you can do. You can express your concerns to her BF and your sister but nothing will change unless the drinker themselves want to change.

What exactly do you expect her BF do? She's a grown woman. The only thing he can control is himself, not her.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:48 PM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

Definitely sounds like she has a problem. One difficulty in trying to get her to give it up is that it's not just about the drinking. Often, the drinking is a form of self-medication for some other issue in their life. A high-strung person may drink to calm down. If they stopped drinking, they still have to deal with the stress that caused them to drink in the first place.

Being so far away, I don't think there's much you can do, and you may risk pushing her away if you try. If you were with her on a daily basis, then maybe you could give her the support she needs. But I don't see how from thousands of miles away. You could perhaps kindly let her know you're concerned and if she ever wants to give it up, you'll help her.

I think you all would be justified in saying no alcohol at the next reunion. Don't say that just she can't drink, say that no one can drink. But be prepared for the push back.

There's a support group called AlAnon, which is for people who care about people who are alcoholics. You can see if there's one in your local area.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:48 PM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

you have a couple problems here, first and foremost, self denial. Regardless if anyone else thinks she is an alcoholic, if she doesn't think she is then not sure how you intend for her to address, but the other issue is that she is angry, probably uses alcohol to address her anger but instead only amplifies it. I have a friend, more like a further friend who drinks socially or just the weekends but he can't stop and refuses to accept the fact he is an alcoholic. wasted two marriages and the alienation of many
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

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Originally Posted by tropicalbeachiwish View Post
Alcoholism is a disease. Without being close to her consistently, you really have no way of knowing if she's a problem drinker or an alcoholic. And yes, there's a difference. Regardless, there really isn't much you can do. You can express your concerns to her BF and your sister but nothing will change unless the drinker themselves want to change.

What exactly do you expect her BF do? She's a grown woman. The only thing he can control is himself, not her.
I don't expect her BF to do anything which is why I'm asking if there's anything I can do, and I'm not surprised that most answers say there's nothing I can really do about it.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

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There's a support group called AlAnon, which is for people who care about people who are alcoholics. You can see if there's one in your local area.
I thought that's only for friends and family who are in constant, regular contact with the person.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-02-2016, 04:38 AM
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Re: Is my sister an alcoholic?

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Originally Posted by silex View Post
We had a family reunion this past weekend. We're all grown with our own families and live thousands of miles apart so we don't see each other very much. It was nice seeing everyone with the notable exception of my older sister.

She was nasty, bitter, sarcastic, taking shots mostly at me but also making this unpleasant for everyone else. She got drunk, really drunk twice during the long weekend to the point that she was rambling nonsensically. We asked her at different times about how much she drinks and got answers anywhere from 1-2 bottles per night. Her boyfriend is a park ranger and he's furious with her for not only drinking but driving while impaired (yet he's done nothing about it except express his displeasure).

Is she an alcoholic? What even is an alcholic. From what I've read, you either drink or you don't. If you drink, then it's occasionally for social reasons, or it's with regularity. If a person drinks regularly, it's either well controlled or it's in excess. If it's in excess then it's either to the point of being a problem or it isn't. There's no definite line between "being an alcoholic" or not, as far as I understand it, it's just a meaningless label.

Anyway, she seems to be a problem drinker and it's hard to sit by while someone you love and care about is in danger. Anyone here experience this? What can be done especially given the distance? Forget about trying to engage the boyfriend he's useless. You'd think a law enforcement officer would have the tools to deal with it but he hasn't done a freaking thing and they've been together for years and he tells me she's been like this for as long as he's known her.
Why don't you take her to any counseling centres? If she is addicted to alcohol or has a drinking problem then you can take her to an addiction rehab centre in your locality. Just see if she is an addict or not and then take necessary actions.

Alcohol and drug addiction are very much common these days. I have recently taken my younger brother to a drug rehab centre in Toronto. No one in the family knew about his addiction. If it was just starting, a counseling would be enough.

So I would say don't wait for things to get worse. Talk to your sister about this before making any decision.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-13-2016, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by silex View Post
Is she an alcoholic?
Yes!
Quote:
From what I've read, you either drink or you don't.
From what I know it's about WHY you drink. What is the underlying NEED for drinking?

Quote:
If you drink, then it's occasionally for social reasons, or it's with regularity.
Either way, it's about some kind of hidden, underlying emotional needs!

Quote:
If a person drinks regularly, it's either well controlled or it's in excess.
Either way, it's HARMFUL!

Quote:
If it's in excess then it's either to the point of being a problem or it isn't. There's no definite line between "being an alcoholic" or not, as far as I understand it, it's just a meaningless label.
All Alcoholics say that. It's a form of Delusion and/or Denial! The "line" is simple - you either NEED to drink or you don't NEED to drink. Alcoholics NEED to drink - whether it's just a little or a lot!

Quote:
Anyway, she seems to be a problem drinker and it's hard to sit by while someone you love and care about is in danger.
Do you know what her "problem" is? Why does she NEED to drink? She has a problem or problems and so she drinks - TOO MUCH - to comfort herself and avoid her inner daemons! All alcoholics drink for the very same reason - emotional comfort!

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Anyone here experience this? What can be done especially given the distance? Forget about trying to engage the boyfriend he's useless. You'd think a law enforcement officer would have the tools to deal with it but he hasn't done a freaking thing and they've been together for years and he tells me she's been like this for as long as he's known her.
Many of us have had the experience of putting up with an alcoholic - parent, sibling, spouse, friend, etc. I have found that, unless the drinker/user goes seriously looking for HELP, nothing at all can be done with or for them - not even so-called Intervention. The Lawman probably drinks as well so he will not want to have her stop or even go for help. He is an Enabler! She has to WANT HELP or the drinking will not stop until it KILLS HER!
I hope that you do not drink to soothe your troubled feelings!

choose happiness
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