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Functioning Alcoholic

(95 Posts)
Nannymags27 Thu 06-Dec-18 18:54:40

My DH is showing all the signs of being a “functioning alcoholic”. I’ve read the internet and that’s what it sounds like. He denies he has a problem. What can I do?

Lynne59 Thu 06-Dec-18 19:21:38

You could contact Al Anon on 0800 0086 811, if you are in the U.K. Other countries have a different number.

My late brother was an alcoholic - he drove, always went to work, he dressed well, and looked decent. At home, though, he drank from the minute he got in (4.30pm) until he fell asleep at midnight or so. He used to wet the bed (not nice for his wife), had Angina, he smoked too. He wouldn't admit that he had a problem. To outsiders, he was a happy, laughing, friendly person - but he must have been a nightmare to live with. They got into debt.

Your husband won't change unless he first admits that he needs to.

Good luck, I hope you get help - for yourself, if not for him.

Izabella Thu 06-Dec-18 20:25:00

Oh Nannymags I am sorry for you. My ex was alcoholic and in denial for many years. In my experience the drinker has to admit there is a problem. Until then you are on your own. The only thing you can do is get help and support for yourself on how to deal with this and the number in the previous post is a good start. Stay strong!

Welshwife Thu 06-Dec-18 21:19:42

I agree with the previous two posters - I was married to a functioning alcoholic for many years. I eventually left and he eventually drank himself to death.
It took me years to realise that the will to stop gas to come from them - they can agree to take pills etc but it takes commitment for them to keep going when it is hard.
Have you anyone you can talk to - admitting you have an alcoholic in the family is so hard - we were so ashamed and only retrospectively realised it was not our fault.

tanith Thu 06-Dec-18 22:00:43

Welshwife ‘s post could of been written by myself it was so hard for my by then adult children to realise they couldn’t help him either and he died a very lonely man. If he won’t admit the problem there is nothing you can do other than put up with it or leave. Sorry if that sounds harsh but it’s the awful reality.

Anja Thu 06-Dec-18 22:26:52

Nannymag so sad reading your post

Grandad1943 Fri 07-Dec-18 08:24:54

Functioning alcoholics or those addicted to drugs are a danger to all those around them, especially in the workplace. Many addicts try to maintain their employment as that provides the income to finance the habit

However, in a workplace where plant such as forklifts, pallet trucks etc are in operation employees with addiction problems can be a very real danger to other employees and those that rely on their income.

Functioning addicts very often use vehicles to drive to their workplace which widens the hazard to other road users and the general public.

Fortunately, many employers now carry out random drug and alcohol tests as employees report for work which has had the effect of "taking out" many of the worst offenders in recent years. In that, as ever more employers introduce random testing, the problem may well be reduced to the benefit of all.

Should anyone feel that they have a functioning addict in their family, then one of the best ways of helping them is to report the matter to their employer. In that way, support can be brought to the person without being dismissed from their employment and protection provided to others who may be endangered by their habit.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 08:34:06

If anyone thinks they have a functioning addict in their family and report it to their employer be prepared for the family member to be sacked.

gillybob Fri 07-Dec-18 08:35:18

Just want I was thinking too Anniebach .

MissAdventure Fri 07-Dec-18 08:40:24

Better than them putting others at risk, I think.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 08:44:00

Keeping them in employment would reduce the risk to others ?

MissAdventure Fri 07-Dec-18 08:51:38

If they're in charge of machinery, driving to and from work and they're over the limit (which they may well be, if they're drinking the night before) then they're a risk.
I'm not advocating dismissing people with problems.
I don't know what the answer is.

Humbertbear Fri 07-Dec-18 08:55:02

I really feel for you NannyMags27. My sister is a recovering alcoholic of the non - functioning kind. It took me quite a while to realise my husband had also entered into this group. Like all drug addictions there is little you can do for them.
They say they have to reach rock bottom before they seek help and my sister was days away from dying (she’d already had a fit and stopped breathing once before). In my husbands case, I reached my rock bottom after he literally fell through the front door in a dreadful state at 10.00am. When he sobered up I told him to get help or move out. This may sound cruel and callous after 51 years together but I told him I had to consider my own health and well being. He went to the GP, admitted to his problems and is now attending meetings and counselling sessions at the local hospital, he says it’s hard to stay sober but so far he’s doing it because the alternative is losing his marriage and his GC.

My advice is to look after yourself. Trying to look after an alcoholic will affect your health and blood pressure. I hope things turn out well for you.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 09:05:17

MissAdventure, if others are at risk I think it wrong to say ‘tell their employer , they will get support’, an employer can’t support them , will have no choic but to dismiss them, so claiming they will have support is wrong.

MissAdventure Fri 07-Dec-18 09:20:05

Oh yes, I agree with that.
I think they would be immediately suspended.
Maybe some employers might support someone who is having problems?

Teetime Fri 07-Dec-18 09:30:36

My ex husband was like this eventually dying at 63 from cirrhosis of the liver- very unpleasant things for his daughters and his then wife to watch. He drank constantly for years and must have had high levels of alcohol in his blood al the time commuting on motorways. I would be in favour of random breathalysers as I believe there are many people like this on the roads.

Grandad1943 Fri 07-Dec-18 09:56:02

If an employee fails a random drug/alcohol test carried out at the start of their shift, then that person will be dismissed under the gross misconduct terms of almost all company dissaplinery procedures.

However, if a report is brought forward to an employer from a work colleague or someone outside of the company that they believe an employee may have drug or alcohol abuse problems, then that gives the employer a number of options.

In the above, the employer can call the employee into the office and interview the person in regard to the report(s) without revealing where the information has come from. The foregoing can often be sufficient to cause the employee to self-halt the abuse or seek help often with the assistance of the employer as that would be required under the Health & Safety at Work Act (The Managment of Health & Safety at Work encompassing legislation).

The above very often results in an excellent outcome for the employee, those working alongside that employee and the family of the person with the addiction.

The threat to a person of losing their employment can bring home to those becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs just how serious the problem has become as all depends on that income in the vast majority of people.

In that, the above acts to the benefit of all.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 10:02:02

often results in an excellent result ? With respect you should pass on your expertise to A.A.

Alcholism sorted .

gillybob Fri 07-Dec-18 10:06:51

Assuming that there is a random drug/alcohol testing clause within the contract, what would stop the employer (after a random tip off) from bringing the employee in and testing there and then, still resulting in dismissal ?

You paint a rosy picture of what might happen after a tip off grandad1943 but the reality could be much worse. I remember confronting someone who turned up for work still drunk (and stinking of drink too) . I told him that he wasn’t fit for work and should leave and come back fully sober on Monday. What did the idiot do? Jumped in his car and drove home. I lost sleep all weekend for the fear of what could have happened and wished that I had left him to sleep it off in a corner.

Rmegan Fri 07-Dec-18 10:17:33

The fact that he is drinking so much and then highly likely driving to work the following day is as good as leaving the house with a gun or a knife. It is a deadly weapon, how would you feel if he hit and killed someone on his way to work or driving you somewhere, what if it was a child you are equally responsible if you know that this is what he is doing. I will leave it to your own conscious now to do the right thing.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 10:21:20

Wonder why there are many alcholics sleeping rough ! no job, no home. Because their employer didn’t support them I suppose.

aggie Fri 07-Dec-18 11:17:32

I wonder how many grieving families are dreading Christmas due to a drunk driver

aggie Fri 07-Dec-18 11:19:06

My Brother was a recovering drunk , and ironically was killed by a drunk driver , my Father was a drunk and died of multiple cancers

Pythagorus Fri 07-Dec-18 12:06:50

There are many functioning alcoholics and some manage to get through their lives like that .......

I know one or two .......

Not sure there is anything you can do ...... except leave if you can’t tolerate it.

They have to decided they have a problem and act on it.

Anniebach Fri 07-Dec-18 13:01:04

George Brown MP managed to be deputy leader of the Labour Party for 10 yesrs, he was a functioning alcoholic.held down several top positions too.