When you care about an alcoholic

If you care about someone who is an alcoholic, it is a terrible experience to watch them destroy themselves.

It is not possible for the health authorities to detain someone forcibly (i.e. section them) because they drink too much alcohol, but there are options available to you in terms of getting advice, support and guidance:

  • You can go to your own GP to ask for help.
  • You  can inform the GP of the person who is drinking of the problem.
  • You  can contact Alcoholics Anonymous, some people find this a helpful source  of support. Their number is 0800 9177 650– this is a helpline that’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Their website can be found at: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk.
  • You can suggest to the person who is drinking that they go to see a therapist or counsellor.
  • You can go to a therapist or counsellor yourself for support to deal with the trauma of watching someone you care about hurt themselves.

Someone who is physically addicted to alcohol needs to come off alcohol under the supervision of their GP and possibly go into hospital to avoid a condition called ‘delirium tremens’, which can cause death, as well as other symptoms including:

  • Severe confusion
  • Agitation
  • Seeing or feeling things that aren’t there (hallucinations).
  • Fever
  • Seizures

This information was up-to-date at the time of publishing (03/07/2021). Please let me know if you find that any of this information needs updating or if you find a broken link. Thanks.