Addiction to Alcohol/Help me please



This is my first time writing to you, seeking some advice regarding my boyfriend. When I started to date my boyfriend, he said that he didnt drink anymore - he had in the past - and had a DUI and basically he understood that he shouldnt touch alcohol anymore. So for about 1 full year, I never saw him get drunk ( he would have social drinks but everything would be ok) The last few months when we would go on dates, he would order booze to the point he was drunk..a happy drunk tho. It was so unlike him but he would say he just wanted to "let loose". Here is a little background on him - he has been out of work due to a car accident about 1.5 years ago and has been on medications for depression etc. He said he is waiting for his pay out from his insurance company due to lost wages, etc. He would volunteer his time to his temple and he seemed to really enjoy it. He started to work out and I dont know if he was taking any enhancement stuff to bulk up fast..but he was getting muscles pretty fast. Anyways,  somehow he took a bad turn. A few days ago, we went out for dinner and over dinner he slammed back 12 double drinks! I couldnt leave him because I was scared where he would end up after drinking that much. I didnt recognize him. He started to say these horrible things to me and he has NEVER said anything like that to me for the year I have been with him. He was getting so angry and was saying things like "you havent seen me fight, have you...well you will see me fight tonight". I finally got him out of the restaurant after the waitress cut him off and that made him so angry. I managed to get him in the car and he then dialed someone and i heard the guy ask him if he wanted "stuff". Then my boyfriend, said yah ill be there in 15-20 min. I knew he was calling for some kind of drugs...All i was concentrating was to drive him home. When i managed to get him home, he told me to leave but i said i wanted to make sure he was inside. I knew he wanted to i waited. WHEN he came out and saw i was still there he got so irate and kicked my car and made a dent. I then left and parked my car around the corner. He then got into his car. I was sitting there..stunned - it all seemed like a bad dream. He then called me and said he was pulled over by the cops and said I called it in and he started to rage again. Long story short...i believe he got his car impounded...and his drivers licence taken away for 3 months - but im not sure. I have tried to contact him for the past 2 weeks but he hasnt contacted me. I have thought about going to his parents house (he lives there with them) to check up on him or even go to his temple that he always use to go to...just so i know he is ok. BUT how come he hasnt contacted me. I have tried a lot. I dont know if i should leave him alone or go to his house. Is he embarassed?  Im lost. Help!

Hi Sheryl,

I apologize for my late response.

What I believe you are seeing is very typical behavior of someone with a serious substance abuse problem, especially one who has not gotten treatment.  

His year of abstinence from alcohol was prompted by the DWI, not necessarily what he wished to do. In other words, he wouldn't have stopped drinking if there were no consequences.  And that is true for every substance abuser.  When at the level of addiction, they will not stop unless forced to.  As a result, many of these "externally motivated" individuals eventually relapse -- or we might say they were not in recovery in the first place!

Your boyfriend needs treatment for addiction.  He may have to be pushed into it, and maybe he will ultimately see the benefits of being alcohol or drug free.  I do not think you had the picture clear when you met and got involved with him.  Looks like he's had some serious problems for some time.

The erratic behavior, the failure to contact you, is not unusual for someone in his situation.  I wouldn't try to "push" things right now; let him be and determine his own course of action.  He's in trouble, and will make your life very difficult unless he gets help.  A number of things may happen that you will not be happy about.  

So...let the consequences do their work.  Let him come to you and tell you he values you and will achieve sobriety to make you happy and to improve his life.  Unless he has some sober time, he's a bad bet for a stable boyfriend.  Sorry, but that's the reality.  We all want to help those in need, but substance abusers are a different case altogether.  They often take advantage of the graces of those trying to help them, and the helper ends up embittered and depressed.

I wish you all the best with this,

Addiction to Alcohol

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Peter L.


Any questions regarding addictive behavior, withdrawal symptoms, selecting treatment options, relapse prevention, defining abuse vs. dependence, self-help groups, denial and resistance, building motivation, physical health effects of alcohol, substitution of other addictive substances; holistic approaches to addiction recovery.


I have been a counselor, educator, and supervisor in the addiction field for 28 years. I hold alcohol and drug counselor certification and licenses in three states. I have experience with adolescents and adults, ranging from those who are experimental/casual users of alcohol to those with very progressed addictive disorders.

Masters Degree - Behavioral Science CADAC, LADC, LADC1

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