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Who Can Help With a Son who is Alcoholic and Increasingly Violent?

(UK, Wales)

Son is 40, alcoholic for 22 years, physically violent, living with parents who are in their mid-seventies. Dad has heart problems, mum has multiple health concerns, easier to buy alcohol for him than refuse due to the physical and verbal abuse that follows.

Increasingly irrational, has had counselling and help from Gwent Alcohol Project on several occasions, which provides short term help and periods of sobriety. Suffers bouts of pancreatitis, hospital stays brings respite.

Doctor has been asked about assessing for bi-polar, as he can be drinking from dawn to dusk for weeks on end one minute, and then sober and on top of the world the next.

Lasts while he has something to do, money to spend, doesn't matter who's money or how much. He has no idea about cost of things or where money comes from, although highly intelligent and has held down jobs while he has been drinking in the evenings.

Doctor dismissed idea when son asked for assessment, leaving him feeling angry and ignored. Now fearing for health of parents, especially father at moment. Mother in hospital with broken hip after bad fall so father dealing with son on his own. Son is third of four brothers, eldest moved out years ago and wash their hands of him and their parents to some degree.

Youngest son supported parents and his brother for many years, taking most of the flack during outbursts and allowing parents some respite time, but has recently moved out and has a full time job, so full weight of looking after alcoholic son has fallen back to parents.

Not strong enough to throw him out physically, not strong enough emotionally to stop him returning without help. Who can help, what is first step, parents questioning whether they should have him sectioned to allow him to get the help he needs? Please help!!

Nothing on internet except shared stories, all saying same thing about tough love. Easier said than done when you are in frail health! Other sons will help if some kind of intervention could be initiated. Answer

If your son is violent and physically abusive, then the only thing to do is call the authorities and have him arrested. Once arrested, you can then ask that a condition of his release means him going through a proper in-house alcoholism treatment program.

Physical violence is under no circumstances acceptable, and being an alcoholic doesn't excuse the fact. So if you feel threatened at all, then getting the authorities involved is unfortunately the only way forward.

He clearly needs help and his drinking no doubts perpetuates his tendency towards violence. So until he achieves lasting sobriety, that is unlikely to change. The best way to begin to address his alcoholism is him going through a lengthy alcohol treatment program/rehab, so look into what options are available locally.

Then try reason with him to go of his own accord, but if that doesn't work then you may have to get the authorities involved, whether that means getting him arrested if he's violent, or getting some kind of court order to have him removed from your home, and yes sectioned.

Find out what local laws allow and what your options are in using those to assist you to get your son out of home and into some form of treatment program. People can't just go around being violent and doing as they please without consequence, so find out how the law can support you in getting your son the help he needs.

Take Care

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