Alcoholic father - how do I get him the help he needs?

Hi I’m Liv. My dad has been a alcoholic for most of his life (all of mine) and is also addicted to prescription painkillers. Over the past 18 months he has been evicted from his flat which he owned, been housed in a temporary b&b for homeless people and now been rehoused through the council. During this time I’ve seen his health go up
and down and he’s ended up in hospital on more than one occasion. This week he has been admitted to hospital after my aunt (his sister) went to his flat to find him bed bound, in his own excrament where he had been for 4 days with no food or drink. He has back pain which he is prescribed very strong painkillers for so I’m not sure whether the reason he was bed bound was his back or because he had got so off his face on the strong tablets. His large tv was smashed and he had broken his wrist and foot, so I’m guessing he may have fallen into the tv. This isn’t the first time he’s ended up in a situation like this. His memory and speech are also really bad sometimes… I can’t understand a word he’s saying.

Other than monetary benefits through the council, and a cleaner once a week, he doesn’t get any other assistance or support and I think he really needs it. I refuse to care for him as he has been a terrible father to me over the years, putting himself before me, his wife and his family time after time. He’s stolen from me in the past, crashed the car drunk with me in it as a child and as a result I’ve suffered depression and anger issues which I’m taking medication for.

Has anyone out there been through anything similar? How did you go about getting your family member more help? It would be great to hear from anyone who can understand this situation as it’s causing me a lot of stress and anger.

Sadly he has to want help and as long as he has ‘mental capacity’ he cannot be forced to seek or accept help.

I would imagine his GP is well aware of the problem? Social Services do have a Duty of Care to him if he becomes a ‘danger to himself’ but this is so open to interpretation.

I personally would write or see the person who is in charge of the ward he is in in the hospital and outline your concerns. They may well have an Alcohol Advice Worker in the building.

But ultimately, if he is determined to destroy himself, then there sadly is nothing you can do.

Have you thought of contacting Al Anon? It is a support organisation for families of alcoholics and there may be a local meeting.

Hi Helena thanks for replying! I assume he would be considered a danger to himself. So I will call social services and explain this. When I spoke to his last gp practice and put it in writing and that I don’t think prescribing someone who has admitted to a drug
Addiction and suicidal thoughts, 50mg strong tramadol is a great idea… they soon dismissed him from their surgery. I don’t know what his new surgery is like but I can raise concerns to the hospital ward .