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Are my in laws alcoholics?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Clairelouise84, May 5, 2015.

  1. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    My fiancee's mother and father are nice enough people (well her dad is) but I think they might be alcoholics, they both drink every single night on weekdays and pretty much all day on weekends They will even get back from things early and get things done as early as possible so they can have a drink. They get through a bottle of wine each on weekdays and about six bottles of a weekend (sometimes more) This happens all year round.
    Are they alcoholics? I get confused because I don't think they are doing it to escape anything like I did when I drank, and they never get "drunk drunk" (I did) but are they?
  2. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    I think those who drink in the daily basis and already have a thinking that they cannot live without alcohol is already considered as alcoholic. It is not normal to drink on a daily basis especially on huge amount.
  3. juno

    juno Community Champion

    There are a lot of things going on with your in laws. One thing you mentioned is that they never get drunk, so it sounds like they have built up quite a bit of tolerance to alcohol over the years. Just because you don't get drunk doesn't mean you are not an alcoholic. If you need a drink to get through your day, and that is on a daily basis, then you are an alcoholic even if it has not impacted your daily functioning yet. People need to be able to get through their day with or without alcohol.

    The other thing is that I'm assuming that this is an older couple since they are the parents of your fiancé. So, keep in mind that they come from a culture back in the 50's and 60's where wives fixed their husbands a martini when they came home from work in the evenings. It was normal, so they may be coming from that perspective. Drinking all day on the weekend isn't exactly normal unless you are at some kind of a party all day long.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  4. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    It definitely sounds like their relationship with alcohol isn't a healthy one. To be drinking every day sounds a little excessive - but the most worrying part to me was when you said they try to get other things done quickly so they can sit down and have a drink. That sounds like a dangerous preoccupation with alcohol, to the point that they can't seem to find enjoyment in other activities like they can from drinking.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  5. Sarah15

    Sarah15 Member

    They are seriously damaging their health if they are drinking that much on a daily basis. I think you're supposed to have at least 3 alcohol free days in the week (or something like that) and not drink to excess on the remaining days. If they are over 50, they are storing up problems for themselves like heart disease, on top of any liver and kidney damage they are doing.

    If they've been drinking as steadily as you say for all these years, they may not have any mental or emotional issues that they are drowning out with alcohol, but they've most likely developed a physical dependence on it by now.

    What they need are some interests outside of home that don't involve alcohol.
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    It sounds like they could not live properly anymore without drinking alcohol. Well, based on that, I think they are already considered as alcoholics. Probably you should tell them about this, that their drinking problem worries you. Maybe they'll tone down a bit.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  7. imperivm1

    imperivm1 Community Champion

    It looks like they've got a problem. Let's not kid ourselves - a single person draining dry a whole bottle of wine couldn't possibly be considered normal. Not to mention they both do it on a regular basis. I think you can safely assume they're alcohol dependent. What's tough, though, is breaking the news to them. That is, if you want to get involved.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  8. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    I have thought about it but how does one go about telling their in laws they are alcoholics? The mother is a very spiteful person and would not take it well, the father is a lot more laid back but would not believe me or he would just think that I was overreacting.
  9. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    They very much do need that, they don't have any friends as they have recently moved to the area but they have been drinking this steadily for a long long time. They are keen gardeners but that does not involve them leaving the house. And to be honest I think it is consideration for the father that his hobbies do not involve leaving the house too much as he knows he will not be able to drink!
  10. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    Oh hell yes, lots of over dramatic things, which I am not fond of. They have an incredibly high tolerance like I have never seen in anyone! They can polish off two bottles each and not be drunk, just sleepy. I once saw the mother drink a whole bottle of champagne in about an hour and a half and nobody knew because she genuinely appeared stone cold sober.
  11. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    It is very dangerous and to be honest they don't really do any other activities other than drinking, they will do some gardening or walk on the beach but that is about it!
  12. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    I want to tell them, maybe I will talk to my fiancée about it as she does worry sometimes too as drink has been a problem in her family before.
    dyanmarie25 likes this.
  13. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Yeah, I guess you should consult your fiancee first regarding this because they are her family. Anyway, best of luck!
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  14. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    Yes, I think they are alcoholics. People don't normally drink alcohol everyday. I think they can be classified as functioning alcoholics.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.
  15. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    Thank you, I appreciate that, I spoke to her last night and she is worried too as health problems are rife in her family so when we go there at the end of the month, she will talk to them, she knows it will not be easy but I will be there to back her up.
  16. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    I think that you are right, they are functioning alcoholics, they keep talking about how they "must stop or cut down soon" but they have been talking like that the whole time I have known them so I know that it is not going to happen any time soon!
  17. SunnySkies

    SunnySkies Active Contributor

    Yep, it appears they are functioning alcoholics. I understand people may occasionally take a drink, but downing a whole bottle per day, that definitely doesn't sound normal. The next step is figuring out how to explain this to them in such a manner they can (slowly) transition out of this problem. I know they said they are trying to cut down on this, but it doesn't to be working. A heart-to-heart conversation is required for any progress to be made. Just make sure to be nice and supportive, as this is a complicated issue.
  18. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    How many years do you think have they been addicted to alcohol? At least they are still functioning, but it's just a matter of time before their addiction gets worse. They should be firm in their resolve to stop drinking if they want to improve their lives.
  19. Clairelouise84

    Clairelouise84 Senior Contributor

    Many years by the sounds of it, my fiancée says it is at least five years now and they will "give up" for a few days every now and then but that is as long as it lasts, a few days and nothing more. Then come the excuses about having a hard day or celebrating, that is what tipped me off more than anything because that is what I used to do all of the time.
  20. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    Definitely alcoholics... someone who drinks that often is definitely an alcoholic. I don't consider alcoholics those who drink once every blue moon. Even if they don't get drunk ''drunk'', they're still drinking on a daily basis. My mother did the same, she drank almost on a daily basis, sometimes she wasn't drunk ''drunk'', but sometimes she was.

    That didn't make a difference... she was clearly abusing alcohol so badly, that quantity of alcohol was bound to do some damage to her liver. What does your fiancee say about their alcoholism? Sometimes the closest ones to the alcoholic person seem to be in denial as well.
    Clairelouise84 likes this.