Mum drinking with Liver Disease - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Mum drinking with Liver Disease

jadeaimee profile image

Hi everyone,

My mum has Liver cirrhosis, she's an alcoholic that has drank for many years. She was recently hospitalised with Ascites (fluid in the belly) and has been released with diuretics, antibiotics & vitamins B & D, she was told she must stop drinking or she will die. I don't know exactly how long she has, she hasn't told me what the hospital told her, but I know it is really bad, I have spoken to people who know her and she has a huge list of symptoms that look as is she is in the final stages.

She has been drinking more heavily since leaving hospital & switched from red wine to vodka, she is now drinking all day long.

I have pleaded with her for many years to stop and even more so now, but she is stubborn and her addiction is so strong it doesn't matter how much I cry and beg her to stop, she won't, I feel so helpless.

To make things worse I am living in Australia & cannot get home due to the travel ban.

I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how I can get her to stop drinking?

Is there a clinic or somewhere where she can be taken to dry out - she won't willingly go so it would have to be against her will, but as she is a danger to herself is it possible?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you

11 Replies

sadly there is no answer, only your mum can do this, so sorry 😔😔

There are various support groups and clinics available but she has to want to quit, no one can force her unfortunately.

Hope she gets the help she needs.

Hi Jade. I am so sorry for what your Mum's alcohol abuse is doing to you. She has and obviously still is in a very bad place both mentally and physically and the only person who can fix her is herself. Until she can admit to herself and to the outside world she is alcohol dependant and wants to give up, there is nothing anyone can do for her other than doctors who can treat the symptoms of advanced liver disease. Admitting to her addiction is the 1st step in her recovery so she has to WANT to give up. She has been told if she doesn't give up drinking she will die and l am sorry to say that is true. How long does she have is an unanswerable question l'm affraid. There's nothing any of us could suggest you say to your Mum to make her give up but we can support you during this most difficult time. Take care of yourself.

Laura x

So sorry. This has to be so hard on you. And your mum. She knows she needs to stop, she has just gotten in so deep. She must feel so much guilt and shame, this I am sure of. All I can advise is tell her you love her and offer her your love.

Bless you sweetheart 😞 💕

As above, tell her you love her. Unfortunately she has to do this herself, or at least acknowledge the problem. If she can, there are ( as DM - 001 has posted) various help and support groups.

I think I am right in saying that if she is admitted because medical issues, they will help as much as they can. But once out of hospital she could be left to herself. Which by the sounds of things is not a good option.

Have you any family or friends, even a neighbour over here in the UK that can help? If you have access to her GP could you call or contact them?

If you have anyone, I would get them to try and act pretty quick if she has gone onto vodka from wine.

Be brave lovely, look after you too. I truly hope you manage to bet some help from somewhere. She will need all the support she can get.

Take good care 🤗

♡ Ps You can ring the trust Helpline here, they are lovely and even if it is just to talk, they will try to help as much as they can.

Thier lines open Mon' - Fri' 10am - 3pm (I think).

I’m so sorry that you are so far away and as everyone has said it is her decision to Stop.

She cannot be treated against her will either🙏

You are doing all you can and I cannot even imagine how you feel🙏

It’s so hard to watch someone destroy themselves. Too often addiction is passed over as being a ’choice’ rather than the illness that it is. To tell someone to go home and stop drinking avoids the real issues. It could be that your Mum is lonely and alcohol helps her cope, or maybe she doesn’t really care that she is killing herself. I’m sure you grieve for the mum that she was, but unless she wants to stop drinking, nothing will change.🌸

Trust1 profile image

Hi Jade,

We are sorry to read how unwell your mum is. It must be incredibly difficult and also being so far away must be hard.

As the members have already said, your mum does need to want to stop drinking alcohol to be able to engage with the alcohol services. As she is alcohol dependent, she would need close medical support to stop drinking or she could have alcohol withdrawal symptoms.

Would your mum give you verbal or written consent to speak with her liver team or GP?

Hi Jade,

So sorry to hear how unwell your mum is. I can completely empathize with how stressful and difficult this situation is for you, having experienced the same with my own mum. Sending you lots of love ❤️

I have reached the pits of desperation where I have begged, pleaded, cried and threatened to stop her seeing her grandchildren if she didn’t stop drinking - to no avail. I have learnt, what the other members have already said, the hard way that until your Mum wants to stop drinking herself, nothing else will make any difference no matter how much you will her to change.

I appreciate how difficult it must be to feel like you are so far away from your Mum being in Australia, however, take it from me that even if you were there, at home with your Mum everyday it still would not mean that she would stop drinking. The nature of alcoholism is that the alcoholic will always find a way.

There is always hope. My mum was told she probably wouldn’t live another three months and that was a year ago. Her life is not what it was, but she is here.

I would recommend having a look at the NACOA website and the Courage to Change book. I find that these help me to remember that I am powerless over an alcoholic and help me to keep my own mental health in check when the worry about my Mum and the desire to stop her from drinking take over.

Sending you lots of love and very best wishes to your mum x

So sorry you are going through this. I lost my dad 4 years ago and its so very hard sending all my love x

Sorry for what you're going through, my husband is the alcoholic in my family.There are no easy answers, first try to accept that whatever you're feeling is valid, even if it's mainly anger. Because l know that people like us, who love alcoholics, are often manipulated. See if taking a step back to see what taking care of yourself feels like. I don't know how to convince an addict not to use, or an alcoholic not to drink. But l will listen and offer support to try and help you if you need it.

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