Help with alcoholic stepdaughter

posted 3 years ago in Emotional
Post # 46
10695 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

anonaanonabee :  

I’m afraid it’s highly improbable if not altogether impossible that she has been sober for a ‘few weeks’.  Or a few hours for that matter.  As severely addicted as she is, sobering up would put her body into withdrawal, which is a dreadful state and should be medically managed.  It’s also an unsafe time for the alcoholic.  Your Fi sounds like he is in denial himself.

If I may make a suggestion, instead of the ER doctor, I would contact a couple of private in patient facilities and find out what their process is to get someone admitted.  They deal all the time with people who don’t want to be there.  I suspect Fi is going to have to put his foot down and *make* her go into treatment.  Does he have sufficient backbone?

Real, grown up love is doing what’s best for the other person, not doing the easy thing that will make them like you.

Post # 47
4 posts
  • Wedding: August 2017

Agree with what pp’s have said regarding alanon etc. I would also recommend online forums such as sober recovery


the problem with finding her a treatment centre and trying to force her into recovery is that it’s unlikely to work long term unless she actually wants to turn things around herself.


I’ve been through this with my alcoholic sister and unfortunately what they say is true, you need to detach for your own sanity and let her hit bottom. She needs to truly feel the weight of the consequences her drinking has in her life. Until then she won’t have any real reason to change. Your husband is enabling her just now, he’s not helping, his actions are just delaying the inevitable.


I wish you all the best with this, its devastating having to deal with the effects alcoholism has on the alcoholic and on the family

Post # 48
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

The problem is that she won’t change until she wants to. My husbands sibiling struggles with severe addiction. The family has funded multiple inpatient and outpatient rehab stays, hospital stays, etc. it works for a while, until the person wants to use again and then they do. 

It’s unfortunate, but the long term sobriety rate is pretty low. Relapses happen quite often. Forcing her into rehab might work, but she might just ‘tell them what they want to hear’ so she’s released. She’ll be sober because they’ll detox her, but she can go right back to drinking if she’s not committed to being clean. 

The problem with removing her funding is the deep desire she has for alcohol. Cutting her off won’t force her to stop drinking, as you know. It will just mean she’s not drinking on her dad’s dime. Unfortunately, addicts will go to extreme measures to get what they need. It’s possible your fiancé thinks it’s easier to find her drinking than think of her living on the street, doing whatever she has to do in order to get booze. She might move in with some other addict friends she uses with, which will probably propel her addiction further along. 

I am not saying he’s right for funding her life, but just presenting the alternative, and what is likely to happen if he stops paying her rent or giving her money.

if you push him to cut her off, be prepared that he could resent and blame you when something bad happens to her. It’s not your fault of course, and it’s not right, but you have to acknowledge what can happen. 

There is a reason addiction wrecks families- not just the addict’s relationships. It’s easier to be the first or second person to disengage with her. It’s much much harder when he is the ‘last one standing’. If he cuts her off, it’s pretty clear what will happen. Which I am sure makes it that much more difficult for him. 

My advice is to keep supporting the idea of rehab, and disengage to other conversations. Stay out of it as much as possible, because being involved will only drag you down, too. If he wants to give her $500 a month, fine. That’s his ‘going out with the boys’ money for the month or whatever other sacrifice makes sense. Your only role is ‘well, I think that rehab place in westville still has openings’. 

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