Addiction to Alcohol/Son is an alcoholic


My son is 31 and has been a alcoholic for over 10 years. He has been in and out of jail and prison for DUI many times.
He has been rehabs more than I can remember.
Just recently he told me that if I helped again for the 100th time that he would go to rehab and when finishing he would focus on entering into a long term faculity and accept help.
Well, needles to say all these facilities are full and have no room now. So he gets a job, and starts drinking mouthwash as a cheap way to get alcohol, because I don't let him have access to money.
He has started to drink mouth wash on the job.. so when I pick him up after work he is drunk and is disrespectful to me.
my marriage is falling apart, my husband wants him gone. I recently lost my job due to cut backs, so I have no monies to help him. And he has very little. My husband wants to take him to the homeless shelter and leave him.
My husband feels saving monies to find him a place to live is a waste of time and monies, because he keeps drinking on the job, he won't have job to pay the rent. He hasn't kept a job more than 3 weeks over the past 5 years.
I am not sure if I can live with myself if he is taken to a homeless shelter, but deep down I know that I can't let this destroy my marriage.
Please help... should I let my husband make the decision..

    Thank you for your story and for your questions.  I feel your pain and your anguish and your frustration.  It is a hard thing to watch an individual self-destruct before your eyes and be helpless to stop it.

   What your husband suggests is good.  It may sound harsh and inhumane but it may be the very thing that helps your son get to the place where he needs to be in his head, his heart, and his soul - alcohol has taken over his life.  Unless he finds a "bottom" or a place in which he will be able to give up his own thinking and his own way of life will he be able to find a better way.

   Perhaps in the homeless shelter he will meet the right people to provide this message.  Only an alcoholic can understand another alcoholic. Perhaps he will meet someone who has some sobriety under their belt and give him some good friendship.  Who knows?

   It is obvious that he is being enabled by your help - (not your fault) but his using the assistance for the wrong reason.  He is a man and he must stand on his own two feet.

   You are not responsible for his drinking - an alcoholic chooses to stay in the mire of its lies and destruction.  You have every right to your own life with your husband and he has every right to expect that your son not "triangle" your relationship and destroy it.  Your vow to your husband does not include all this as "for better, for worse" as it is something impinging your world not by your own choice.

   Of course I say all this understanding that you have the right to make the choice not to follow this suggestion and make every effort to continue with the status quo.  It will take some soul searching to find out what is right for you and your own decision, but at least you made the decision and you will be responsible for the consequences.  These are just cold hard facts.

   Here are some things to consider which might help alleviate your distress at having to do this intervention:

1.)   Get him to a shelter where he is forced to go to Alcoholics Anonymous (if possible).
2.)   Get a copy of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous and read more about alcoholism and what the alcoholic needs to understand and embrace.
3.)   Give a gift of $$ to the homeless shelter (anonymously) to aid them in helping the men and women who are so desperately needing a change in their lives.

    I hope this may have helped and write again if I may be of any help.  I will hold you and your husband and your son in my prayers.

Grace and Peace,

Addiction to Alcohol

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I can answer questions on the recovery from alcohol addiction as I am a recovering alcoholic with 24 years of sobriety. I can also address the spiritual aspects of the 12-Step program as I have a Master of Divinity degree; serve as a pastor in the Quaker church; and, serve as a hospice chaplain. I have also served as a prison chaplain for one year and currently volunteer as a mentor once a week, working with two inmates one-on-one as they work towards reentry into society as free persons.


I am a recovering alcoholic with 24 years of continuous sobriety.

Master of Divinity awarded in 2000 from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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