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Addiction to Alcohol/how do I get him to see his problem


I'm really scared for my ex partner who also happens to be my best friend. About 2.5yrs ago he lost his girlfriend in a horrific car accident and she died in his arms. The inquest came back that she had been drinking vodka, speeding, no seatbelt & texting (him) while driving. For quite sometime it seemed as though ge was dealing with her loss quite well but as time has gone on his drinking is getting worse and causing him to absolutely lose his mind. He doesn't drink everyday (maybe 1 a week) but when he does its a whole bottle in about 45mins. I didn't realise how bad it was until yesterday... we were having a nice day and then he snapped! I didn't realise he had drank a whole bottle- I thought 2 drinks max and I got in the car with him. Suddenly he snapped, he looked really scary not like him and he was driving irratically swerving all over the road, almost driving into other drivers going head on with other vehicles at some stages. He was screaming and crying telling me he was going to kill me. I was so scared- I'm 8mths pregnant to this guy and was begging him to stop. I've never seen him this really scared me!! He didn't care if he killed me, himself or anyone else. He is usually a really peaceful man, down to earth and caring but this vodka is changing him. He doesn't think he has a problem and won't admit it. He is not the type of person that will ask for help and I'm really scared that he will either kill himself,  someone else or end up in jail. At this stage I've decided to stay away from him until this behavior changes as I need to protect myself and my baby... but I want my beautiful friend back- I miss him. Please how do I get him to see he needs help and how do I deal with the pain this is causing me watching this happening to someone I love and care about? I just don't know what to do. Also shouldn't his grief be getting better not worse??
Thank you so much for your time.


I apologize for my slow response to your question.

Sorry to hear about this difficult situation.  Not a day goes by where I don't have at least one of my clients struggle like your friend.  This can happen to young and old.

Unfortunately there is no easy solution.  Substance abuse will often become a very gripping and persistent behavior, despite consequences.  

There's no doubt your ex-partner has suffered from a serious trauma, losing his girlfriend in the accident.  He hasn't worked through this loss and is likely suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Alcohol sometimes is seen as the only "cure" for this kind of intense lonely, depressed, desperate feeling.  

I realize you have a strong connection to this man and even more so with your having a child together.  Right now he is not able to be a strong and reliable partner, support, or father.  

You are right to protect yourself by staying away.  Give him resources for treatment.  Find them yourself on the internet or in your local phone directory.  Speak to anyone else in his life and encourage them to insist that he get help.  

There has to be some leverage on him to change, or he will not.  I've seen this sort of situation many, many, times.  Alcoholics will not stop their behavior unless conditions get so bad they must.  And sadly, about 1/3 will never stop and will remain chronic users until it destroys them.  I know, this is not good news.

Your safety is most important. Ensure that you have it. An alcoholic in his condition is a high risk individual and potentially harmful to others.   Seek out counseling for yourself to help deal with this stress and anxiety.

Best wishes,

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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