You are here

18 year old Alcoholic

capp1978's picture

I know teens are going to drink, I get that, I'm not stupid.  But SD18 is a full blown alcoholic already. She drinks heavily daily.  When she lived with us we had found empty wine bottles behind her headboard, beer bottles shoved in drawers, (meaning she was sitting in her room drinking) phone calls from police that she was busted with alcohol.  We saw her recenty at a local sports bar sitting there with friends drinking margaritas.  DH says "Hi, we're just grabbing a bite to eat, love you" and keeps walking.  I'm sure he was walking super fast and not talking to her so I wouldn't stop and see that she was drinking a margarita.  (which it was obvious)

I recently downloaded the venmo app as someone needed to send me money.  If your not familiar with it you can see how your phone contacts are transferring money.   For example SD sent money to friend for "beer", SD sent money to friend for "cigs".  The person sending the money types in whatever they want in the "for" field.  It's kind of like the memo section on a paper check.

Downloading this app brought to light how much SD is really drinking.  "Wasted Wednesday" "Margarita Tuesday" "It's monday why not drink" "Cigarettes" "my alcohol problem" "puff puff" "I have no self control w/alcohol" "for not puking on me last night".  These are her comments and what she is sending money to her friends for.  Her friends have also sent her money for 'fake ids"  Which I assume this is her new job, selling fake ids.

I'm sure you are asking yourself why does she care if DH doesn't care, BM doesn't care and her grandparents don't care?  I care b/c if something happens to her it's going to destroy my family.  I will essentially lose DH.  I care b/c I have a young BD that I don't need seeing her 1/2 sister being an alcoholic at 18.  I care b/c I have nieces that see her drunk shannigans on Instagram and Facebook.  I don't want them thinking this is the norm.  I care because someone is driving them home when they're all sitting there drinking?  She's putting her life and everyone around her life in danger.   I'm not sure how no one else around can see this problem.  SD's mom is a recovering alcoholic, SD's grandma & granpda are a recovering alcoholics and SD's other grandpa is an alcoholic.  Alcoholism runs in the family and at 18 she is already drinking this heavily?  

Please I need advice, what would you do in this situation?  No matter how much I tell DH he ignores it or says "I hope some day she finds her way" "She's 18 and doesn't live with us, what do you want me to do?"  I love DH very much and leaving our family over his daughter and her issues isn't going to happen.  But something needs to be done before she hurts herself, her friends or even worse an innocent bystander!


I love dogs's picture

Your husband is right. She's 18 and doesn't live with you. Unless you plan on an intervention (which would probably be unsuccessful anyway) you need to focus on other things. If she gets in trouble, your husband is in no way responsible for her. It is unfortunate, but if she truly is an alcoholic, she has to want to change. If she doesn't, she needs to hit bottom to realize that her life is unmanageable but it doesn't seem like she feels that way at the moment.

justmakingthebest's picture

Start making anonymous tips to the police. When you see her drinking in public make a call. When you know where is will be- make a call.

That is all you can do. Maybe a couple of arrests will straighten her out? 

capp1978's picture

I did think about calling the sport bar we saw her at.  I'm sure she is there a lot.  It's an outdoor "tiki" bar that has games like cornhole, horseshoes, volleyball etc.  I know her friend is on a league there which is why she was there.  The bar could get in trouble serving her.  Some of the friends she was with are still in high school!

I love dogs's picture

I went to high school with a girl who used a fake ID and got caught. She not only got a ticket for underage drinking, she was charged with identity theft because the ID had someone else's name on it.

justmakingthebest's picture

I would start doing a little social media stalking and see if you can't make a few of those calls. 

capp1978's picture

I wonder what the ID says, is it her real identity with a different date birth date or someone else?  I wondered how they were getting drinks at this sports bar we saw them at when they are all 17/18 years old.  I figured they had someone buy it for them but now after seeing Venmo I see she paid someone for her Fake and now people are paying her for Fakes.

MrMcBride's picture

I am currently in a divorce with my spouse, 2 stepkids and our own biological.  She's a complete alcoholic that I am concerned for but this book isn't because I want to help her or hope for any's for my own peace of mind in these issues and how to deal with a full-blown addiction to any substance.  Realy good book with so much material to help you find how to properly address the issue.  Also...she is 18, so there isn't much you can do.  Your DH may be correct in his approach as crazy as it may sound.  Addiction is tough to fight, because you can't.  You can't help until she really wants to help herself, and even might just offer the wrong type of help to agitate the addiction back into reality.

If you never read the book, just remember this.  You're fighting an addiction, not a person.  The addiction will always do whatever it needs to do to survive.  I had a hard time understanding it, but the first few pages laid it out perfectly.  Addiction is almost similar to a person starving.  A rational person has a hard time understanding, if they never experience true hunger, to what extent someone in starvation mode will do to eat.  They'll lie, steal, cheat, and manipulate to get food.  Alcohol is very similar and there is almost no satiation level it will hit to feel satisfied.  We can eat a meal and feel fine...addiction of alcohol can consume and consume and consume and need more and more and more.  You're not battling your SD, you're battling the thing that controls her and all we can do is mitigate the damage it does to us, because we are in control of our lives.

amyburemt's picture

Does she live in a state where it's legal to drink at 18? Is she driving when she's drunk? If this is such a problem, she needs help and unfortunately if you can't get her family members on board with it, there's not much you can do until disaster DOES strike. I can give you a different perspective on this though. Maybe share it with your husband. My dh , kids and I were in our car about 1 mile from our house in 2013 and were hit head on by a drunk driver. (We have 4 teenagers). He wouldn't dial 911 because he thought he would get in trouble so my daughter pried the car door open and ran barefoot to a house to have them call. I was unconcious. my dh had a shattered knee. the other kids all had various injuries. After they got us out by cutting off the roof of the car, we had 4 helicopters that flew 4 of us to trauma hospitals and 2 of the others went to a nearby hospital. I had a traumatic brain injury, 5 broken ribs and a wrist injury. My kids had facial fractures, arm injuries, abdominal puncture, head injury, seatbelt burns, mouth trauma, face trauma. my husband had a knee shattered in 5 places, a broken leg, a head injury. The guy who hit us had a scratch above his eyebrow. We  had insurance but  still had to pay a few thousand for things insurance didn't cover. our bills all totalled 1 million dollars. I had to go through speech, physical and occupational therapy for a year. My husband and I both had a year of recovery so needless to say, our jobs didn't hang on to us. We took the guy to court, but you can't get money out of someone who doesn't have any so we pushed for jail time. He got sentenced to 7 years, but got out in 19 months due to completeing the prisons alcohol program. He has done this before in other states so really it's only a matter of time before he does it again. As for now, I have teenagers who are scared to learn to drive and scared to be in car accidents. I have started the disability process because of my brain injury. My dh will need a knee replacement in a few years. All of the kids have scars of some sort including mental ones. I have never hated anyone as much as I hate the guy who did this to my family. 

Does your DH want your sd to go through this? He needs to get her help. Everyone always thinks "it won't happen to me". 

capp1978's picture

No it is not legal to drink at 18 which is why she has a fake and I believe is selling fake ID's now.  I am sorry you had to go through that.  My heart breaks for you.  Your story gave me the chills reading it.  This is what I am saying, she is going to hurt herself, someone else or an INNOCENT BYSTANDER.  If she hurt an innocent bystander, adult or kid, I may not be able to forgive myself for not stepping and doing something about it.  


Steppedonnomore's picture

There may not be a lot you can do since she is 18 and doesn't live with you.  However, since you know she is underage, one thing I might do in your situation is report it anytime I witnessed her drinking.  When you saw her at the sports bar you could have asked to speak to the manager and informed him/her that she was underage.  Then just let the manager take whatever steps deemed necessary such as banning her from the bar or calling the cops. 

capp1978's picture

I did call the sports bar and told the bartender.  I told her I wasn't trying to be an asshole by reporting it but as a businessowner to another businessowner I would feel like a bigger asshole if it was my SD that caused this place to get fined and someone to lose their job b/c SD has a problem.  It may have been too late to call as it is already done and over with at this time but now they can be aware to be careful in the future.

Harry's picture

That underage drinking is taking place at ——— bar.  Other then that, all you can do is keep, SD out of your house and away from younger kids 

capp1978's picture

I try my hardest to keep her away from our house.  DH knows how I feel and that I don't trust her especially around BD.

SD and I had a HUGE falling out b/c I caught her doing shots of whiskey in our backyard when she was 16.  We were having a family get together for 4th of July.  Her and a friend walked toward the back of the yard thinking no one was paying attention but I saw what they were doing.  I called her out on it and told her it wouldn't happen in my home.  About an hour or so went by and I went into the house to get something and I found her and her friend in our walk in pantry pouring themselves drinks.  I flipped my lid and screamed at my husband about his daughter and her lack of respect.  It turned out to be a huge fight of her begging her dad to divorce me and telling me I was a F"ing B**ch.  

Whattheheck's picture

I knew I had a problem at 16, I loved to to drink, party and pass out. It runs in my bio family as well. No one on earth would have been able to tell me that what I was doing was bad.

I am now in my forties and have been sober for 6 years. It honestly is the person who has the addiction to see that they need help. Some people have a lower bottom than others. 

Merry's picture

Congratulations on your 6 years! There is addiction in my family as well.

O/P there is nothing you can do to stop this. Just take care of yourself and your family. Find an therapist for yourself or your DH that specializes in addiction, go to Al Anon meetings, learn about what to expect and, more importantly, what not to do. Many parents can't stand to see their children suffer with addiction, so they turn into enablers. That's the exact wrong thing to do.

I've found the addiction recovery community to be very, very helpful. When my SS was using, my DH wouldn't go to any meetings for support but he would talk with people he knew who were recovering addicts or who had children with addiction problems. It's too big for the addict to fix, and it's probably too big for you and your DH to handle on your own too. Get help for yourselves. Get information.

notasm3's picture

My SS33 has been an alcoholic since he was 13.   BM does not ever drink- her father was an alcoholic. My DH may have 3-4 drinks a year.  They NEVER had alcohol in their home. 

SS has been sent to every rehab ever invented.  He still two decades later is an alcoholic. He’s the one who emptied FIVE 1.75 liter bottles of unopened booze in our home while we were on vacation last year.  DH still thinks he can learn to drink in moderation. 

When I met SS a decade ago he was truly a bottom feeder - drugs/booze living rough. He found ways to mooch off women with a job so he is no longer homeless.  The alcohol has caused problems with his enabling GFs. 

SS now claims that “ All is good “ because he doesn’t get crazy drunk every night - just “regular “ drunk. 

He’s just a waste of space in my book. No one can ever “force” someone to get clean and sober.