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Drinking is a disease in my family. I had to address it personally a number of years ago but both my brothers drink heavily still and my father did (and fell) until i got him in ALF. Last time my brother came, dad had bottles hidden in his drawers when he left I confronted my brother but he said it wasn't him. i had a caregiver (who i terminated for lots of reasons) that very well might have done it, but it was still suspicious. I want so much to have a few days off, but when dad gets alcohol, he takes steps back. My nephew is coming with him, but i don't know his drinking status, although when we were close, he stayed away from alcohol. What should i do? I can talk to him, but really, talking to an alcoholic in denial is like talking to a fish. Advice?

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Jeannie how do we know he isn't writing from jail?

Capt what time does the bar open. I"ll be there to buy you a pint.
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It group, you mention "evidence based medical science/research" and "best practices" throughout your posting. Would you care to cite some of the refences from the relevant academic journals? (not Google) I am sure there are some readers who would be interested to discover how this information relates to the original question "How do I keep (my brother) from giving my Dad too much beer.
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And, by the way, if Captain did half the things he writes about he'd be writing from jail. He has been a conscientious and creative caregiver for two elderly relatives. We've learned to screen out his hyperbole. :)
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Captain, very funny........................LOL!!!!!
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itgroup, it really isn't off-topic to ask for some personal background. I often suggest that posters fill out their profiles, because it helps us communicate better. Is the person writing a scientist in the field being discussed? A caregiver of a spouse? A child trying to care for a parent from a great distance? This kind of information puts the response in context. Please don't take it as a personal insult to be asked. We just like to know and the site provides a place to put this information.

I do agree with many of your statements, about evidence-based treatment, for example, and I suspect your listed resources are informative. And a broad perspective is legitimate. But, no, it didn't really help me to figure out what you think the original poster should do about respite care. And that is a specific topic many of us are keenly interested in.
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I'm bettin' "hammered" is in your wheellhouse and you were rollin' that way long before you logged onto this site. ;-) Encouraging you to sober up, then check out resources listed in 'all knowing sack of drivel'. By the way, Cappy...Thank you for 'allknowing' compliment. Lol...I'm not inclined to be nearly as complimentary of you;-).
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itgroup ,
i havent had a drink in three weewks but after reading that allknowing sack of drivel im ready to get hammered .
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This is a tough problem especially since it not being your own home you can't control who comes and goes. My mom enjoys a glass of Bailey's occasionally so I brought a bottle to her nursing home and they keep it behind the nurses station and offer her a wee bit now and then. A very wee bit.

Its too bad you couldn't make some kind of similar arrangement with the ALF where your father is. But if he has a drinking problem as you say a wee bit probably would not suffice and I guess you can't reason with your brother.

I'm sorry for your problem. Good Luck!!
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Hmmm Veronica the respectful request by site moderator, "Please stay on topic", is posted on the top the comment field -on my screen, anyway:-). Just, fyi, "backup information about 'her personally'" is an example of what constitutes as 'off topic'. Apparently...size 'really' doesn't matter ;-).
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Hmm Jeannie another poster without any backup information about her personally. I think I will keep my size 10s out of this.
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Jeanne, your question has been answered in my response above. There are several options, addressed in my response to Linda's post, that answer your inquiry of me . Those resources I listed, such as SMART Recovery, the book, the subject of 'dysfunction in the addicted family system' can be accessed immediately and provide the support and education to an adult, caregiver/daughter, as well as by her family members, toward the goal of making decisions about what to do about the challenges they face associated with addiction -alcoholism, drug use, how to deal with family members/friends who provide alcohol or other drugs to addicted family members, and how to help her dad help himself engage and sustain his own recovery by helping him gain self efficacy, so that her energy invested in caring for him is balanced by appropriate self care -that's that whole subject dealing with caregiver stress and the requirement caregivers have to maintain their own sense of autonomy, their own interests, their own life through ensuring they are taking enough time to address their own needs, (aka, the subject of "taking breaks" from being a caregiver to ensure one's own well being).

It seems, at least judging by your question, that perhaps you didn't read entire comment by the dedicated daughter/caregiver of father who is challenged by alcoholism. (Just fyi...the more appropriate, person first term would be "father who has a substance use disorder'). So, I'll repost it for you
Linda shares as follows: "Drinking is a disease in my family. I had to address it personally a number of years ago but both my brothers drink heavily still ..."
Hence the long response.

It's ok, responsible, even, for the caring people who comment to these heartfelt posters who share their stories and ask for feedback, to address a broader scope. In this particular situation, the scope is 'family addiction and the challenges that come tandem', um, you know, in the case it should inspire a single person who reads to engage supports that would increase theirs, or a loved ones well being.
Um, jeanne? I hope this helps:-)
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Um, itgroup, do you have a suggestion for the particular question asked? While daughterlinda is overseeing her father's care, he does not have access to liquor. (Or excessive liquor -- not sure). She needs a break from caring for him. Other family members who will oversee his care in her absence may not respect her desire to limit his access to beer. I don't see that she is asking for advice on what kind of recovery program he should be in. Just what should she arrange while she is way? How should she deal with this?
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My first advice would be to accept that you cannot control your father's behavior 24/7/365. You deserve respite. Take it.

If you can't simply "let go" then hire a professional to provide care while you take respite.

Is Dad still in a care center?
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Linda,

My heart goes out to you in your challenge. It’s a very hard one. There are some healthy, hope-based options for approaching the challenges, you share above, that will maintain the goal of your dad's, yours and your family's collective well being -with better lived moments as the target. You, your dad and your family deserve that peace.
It will take some dedicated, patient, hope-filled engagement by you in becoming informed on the biopsychosocial components of addiction. It’s very doable. That information is readily available.
Addiction Recovery is more of a marathon than a sprint –no matter the age of the person challenged by it. It's important to keep this in mind and close to your heart. Patience and persevere is key in fueling the journey to recovery.
Addiction, (the more appropriate clinical term is 'Substance Use Disorder'), is not a product of lack of will power, lack of character, lack of purpose, or an absent spiritual anchor. These common, stereotypical explanations regarding addiction, such as these, are too ‘simple’ to adequately explain the presence of a substance use disorder.
Addiction is complex. In addition, false notions about addiction, such as those mentioned above, promote stigma regarding addiction, as well as promoting stereotypes regarding those who are challenged by addiction. And, that’s not a supportive approach to helping anyone with an addiction, much less supporting the loved ones of those individual who are challenged by substance use disorder. In fact these ignorant responses to addiction are responsible for our society’s collective lack of momentum in providing evidence based treatment and support to all those who need and deserve it.
Substance use disorder (addiction) is a product of highly complex biological, psychological and sociological components.
Unfortunately, until more recently, the only so-called 'support and treatment' we had managed to offer a huge populous of addiction-challenged people has been the practice of convincing people with addictions, as well as their family members, that 'addicts' are 'selfish’, ‘not spiritual enough’, ‘full of ego', 'addicts need humbling', ‘they are incapable of telling the truth’ etc.. But, now, thanks to evidence based research, we know that however well intended those applications are, they are in truth unconscionable, and, mostly, cruel ‘myth’, not fact. And, unfortunately, often times coercion, by well-intended fellow 'peers' , in many a peer group 'support meeting'- who themselves have not been successful at making desired progress regarding their own challenges with addiction- is the go-to in advising on ‘what to do about addiction’.
Typically, folks who claim to be experts at advising others, but who are also struggling with addiction issues and offering up solicited, (and unsolicited) ,sometimes, inappropriate and, even, dangerous advisements to people they have no medical or psychological history regarding, has been the norm constituting as ‘support’. And, that credential to advise? Where do they get it? Well. That would be the degree earned at the University of , I been there done that still going to meetings and, sure, nothing’s really different or better with regard to how addiction impacts my personal life but I keep showing up to the meeting, repeating the same benign and self esteem lowering clichés ad nauseum, and clinging to the notion that healthy change is on the horizon..because the clichés I learned in my meetings said it works if I keep going back.
Yeah...As often as we see these credentials displayed: That's not a good enough credential, these days - thanks to research and evidence based science. Options born of the clinical, medical, science-based ‘best practices’ variety –in tandem with consistently applied encouragement, compassion, empathy and faith- are what ‘actually’ serves people in making healthy change, little by little. Addiction recovery is a process. It occurs little by little….relapse is a part of the journey, too.
SO we can’t get ‘freaked out’ when our family member trips up and makes the choice to use. They are capable of unlearning what they have learned with regard to their maladaptive coping. But, it’s going to take time. They have a unique set of problems to solve. They will have a much more difficult journey without your informed, empathy-driven support. Their addiction did not develop over night. The core issue(s) that are triggering them to use substances to cope are not likely identifiable by attending 90 meetings in 90 days, or solvable by being given a sobriety chip. As the family member of a loved one with addiction, we need to always strive to model hope, calm problem solving, and cognitive stamina to our addicted family member. Addiction is scary, frustrating, resentment-making and sad-making. But, when we allow ourselves to freak out, yell, cry, scream, accuse, confront and exclude, it increases their anxiety (remember ‘maladaptive coping’?) So, in a nut shell, ‘our’ affective response to their choices increases our addicted loved ones anxiety …. and thus increases the odds that they will be triggered to using substances in order to cope maladaptively with alcohol or other psychodynamic substances.
Get the book mentioned below. It contains real help, real education, real support toward the goal of real meaningful, sustainable recovery –for everyone in the family.
While engaging a peer support environment can be helpful in that process, i.e sharing about the difficult journey with others who truly understand and empathize with the extreme challenges experienced while supporting one another, and cultivating the important climate of "I'm not alone", etc; It’s when that so-called 'support' dialoging is peppered with, or is predominately an indoctrination in, "You can't help yourself (or your addicted family member)until they admit they have a problem, because unless and until they ADMIT they are an 'addict', there’s nothing you can do” that it becomes clear that, friend, you're in the wrong peer support environment.
Know that there are options in support and treatment. So, run... Do not walk out of said 'support group' that is full of non evidence-based advisements and negative, self efficacy depleting mantras. Utilize your keen sense of reason, intuition, self efficacy and faith to locate a support resource that is 'authentic support' for ‘your’ particular circumstances. These resources, these support meetings/services are available to you. There are options, now! There were not options until more recently. Get the word out: ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT MOST!

The words spoken in healthy peer environments will be delivered by educated, trained leaders and facilitators. The spirit of approach in these authentic support environments will consistently reflect what it is that you 'CAN DO' to help yourself, your addicted family member, as well as what you ‘CAN DO’ to support yourself in fueling your journey with hope, better and better effectively, as you make your way through addiction into sustainable recovery. The goal in these authentic environments is to help you problem solve by engaging your creative, intelligent, empathy-based identification of the core issues that have contributed to the development of substance use disorder/maladaptive coping, and supporting a utilization of your/your family members individual strengths to develop a practice of response to the challenges that will, consistently, serve healthier and healthier dynamics resonating between family members, thus healthier and healthier daily discernments regarding the challenges that arise, better decision-making and choices in response leading to lasting, healthy change and meaningful recovery.

When you hear statements, mantras, clichés in your chosen support group/or other self help support method that contain the words CAN'T, DIDN’T, SHOULDN’T, WOULDA/COULDA...and, especially, this one: “If his/her lips are moving they are lying”, (an all-too-common and unconscionable reference to the addicted individual’s incapacity to EVER tell the truth) then, it’s time to make an immediate exit and find 'real', evidence-based support.

We are past the time of applying parroted, mostly negative-spirited, condemning clichés posing as support , treatment and advisement with regard to the beyond difficult challenge of addiction. We owe this evolution into enlightenment, in more current decades, to Evidence Based Medical Science/Research... Which, by the way, is the same field we rely on for supports, treatment, and cures in heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions. ADDICTION IS A CHRONIC CONDITION. It’s not ‘a choice’. No one ‘chooses’ to have a chronic condition, including Substance Use Disorder.
We pledge to support and treat individuals, and their family members, with the same level of expertise, dedication, compassion and empathy that we do in any other chronic illness. After all, we don’t treat support diabetes patients by telling their family members ‘you can do no more than pray for them. So you just need to allow them to 'hit bottom', otherwise you’re just an “enabler”. WRONG! We will not continue to force that load of crapola on our fellow human beings. We will not do that to the people we care for, the those individuals we love and who we are ACCOUNTABLE to that happen to be struggling with the impact of the chronic condition of substance use disorder.
Addiction is a family affair. Addiction occurs as a complex result of maladaptive coping. We all form our coping mechanisms (be it an effective coping mechanism, an ineffective coping mechanism, or something in between the two –most us demonstrate all three throughout our life in navigating our challenges) in our ‘family-of-origin’. Think of the family of origin as the collective of people -usually relatives- that we spent the majority of our time in our childhood and teen years with. It is the relational dynamic that is formed in this environment, it is the energy that this collective generates that mostly influences our perspectives, our personality, and how well we ‘cope’ with stress, challenges, and negative narratives regarding our life.
Recovery/Healthy change is absolutely doable. Recovery happens every day for individuals and for the people who love them. Keep your faith fueled up with that fact.
Begin with doing some reading on what 'enabling' is, and more importantly what enabling is 'NOT'. Google "Dysfunctional family roles associated with the addicted family system". Then, keep reading and learning. Get yourself the book, "Get your loved one sober: Stop nagging, pleading and threatening" -author Robert Myers and Brenda Wolfe. Check into the support resource known as, SMART Recovery Friends and Family -Dr. Tom Horvath. Google it. SMART is acronym for ‘Self Management and Recovery Training’. It WORKS. It’s FREE. It’s more effective than ‘ traditional approach’ in the VASTEST majority of cases of substance use disorder where an individual and/or the family of an individual with addiction is seeking education, support, problem solving in recovery.

We have evidence-based/clinical science to rely on, now, as to what 'truly' supports/motivates people (of all ages) with substance use disorder (and their family members, too) in making healthy sustainable change as they forward focus on recovery and living their days more fully and in increasing peace, hope and faith.
For decades we have, as a culture, been inundating people/their family members -who are challenged by alcohol and drug addiction- with so-called 'traditions' that, for the vastest majority of people, don't provide learning or support in the most critical, recover-purposed areas of need. A 'best practices method' of supporting an individual (and their family members) challenged by addiction is required if sustainable recovery is the goal. This best practices approach based on individual needs and strengths is the preferred formula that serves to increase an individuals' (and collective family systems') sense of 'self efficacy', belief in themselves, the science of addiction and the process. This ‘best practices’ frame is an evidence-based approach that is focused on identifying the individual's as well as the family systems needs and strengths, and setting goals that incorporate those components.
In the last 3 decades, the treatment field has come an exceedingly long way from the outdated traditional, confrontational approach of: 'you just needing to practice humility', 'You just need to be less selfish', "Alcohol and drug users are suffering from 'terminally uniqueness'",(Yep. “terminal uniqueness”. How exquisitely arrogant and ignorant that particular cliché is). Other favs: "You need to just let your dad/son/daughter/ husband/wife/friend hit bottom", “Kick them out”, “Drop him/her at a homeless shelter”. How often do you bet the ‘dropper’ of the ‘addict’, at said homeless shelter, is willing to ‘drop ‘em off’, of course, but, does not bother to donate resources to the facility –you know in support of the people that will be providing the caring and expense of the tangible care needed -the food, clothing and housing needs- to the family member they ‘dropped off’? While we’re speculating on the obvious: Let’s consider it common too, then, that said ‘dropper off-er of ‘addict’ wouldn’t typically so much as much glance at their responsibility/moral obligation to volunteer their time at the facility or another homeless shelter as reciprocity for what they have received as caring for their addicted family member.
To confront, will, coerce, threaten, shame, badger, criticize, speak ill of, and/or condemn a person challenged by addiction into change in the name of ‘support’ is in direct opposition of ‘appropriate care, support and advocacy.
Google it. Start reading about ‘the dysfunctional family system’, ‘addiction and the dysfunctional family system.’, etc.. You'll learn a great deal about the complexities that act as catalyst in development and maintenance of maladaptive coping. You’ll also gain a sense of peace about how common the challenge you're facing is, and learn that you possess the strength and love to appropriately advocate for yourself and your loved one. You are not alone. Godspeed to all who are traveling the road of recovery.
“Addiction is the journey. Recovery is the destination” –Patti Herndon
“Hope soars on our behalf when and where we cannot. Hope is our truest companion” –Patti Herndon
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Alcohol is very damaging to one's liver, but it is also toxic to the brain if someone has dementia. Remind your brother of the dangers with the elderly and your father could become intoxicated very quickly given his age. If you are going to have a stressful two days off, hire some professional help and tell your brother not to come.
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When mom was in rehab they allowed us to bring a bottle of her wine in, they poured her out 3 oz a night. Her Dr approved it.. she drinks a glass a night for her heart, no more usually.And the SNF I worked at had happy hour as well. If he is still in a facility let the staff know your concerns.. they will take care of it.
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Well if he gets drunk and injures himself by falling brother will be the one who has to deal with getting him to the ER and may think twice before he enables dad again.
nothing yoou can do they are both adults. if brother does not supply it dad will find another way to get it.
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Some people are telling you to go and have fun, but if your brother lets your dad get intoxicated, who is going to have to deal with him after your brother is gone - YOU, right? I would explain this to your brother and ask him not to cause you this kind of situation and tell him it's inconsiderate of him to leave you to the stress of dealing with your dad when he has had too much to drink.
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You do not mention if your father has dementia. Why does there have to be any alcohol in the house? Just tell your brother and nephew no alcohol is allowed. Put up nanny cams if you have time, then you will know who is giving your father the booze. For two days, how much can they drink? (Then again, I have never drunk alcohol, so I'm no judge.)
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i have a neighbor who until recently was caring for his 93 yr old dad . his dad didnt really have a history of alcohol abuse but for the last few months he has been plugging a whole bottle of wine into his own feeding tube about once a week and getting himself s*itfaced . why shouldnt he ? hes as close to death as one can get and still be able to open a wine bottle . y'all may live a long time but ill bet you never forget that image in your head . he he
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I am a bit confused---is your father still in an ALF? Or does he live with you in your home?

When you're away, you can't control what's going on with your brother & father. You certainly aren't going to stop your brother from drinking.

So, what's the big deal? If your father ties one on, you're not going to be there anyway & he'll be sobered up by the time you get back. If he's in ALF, there are people there that can assist him. Don't worry about it. Go away, have some fun, relax & re-group----don't obsess over your father's drinking. Remember----he's an adult & can do whatever he wants to do.
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Remember that witty t-shirt New Musical Express types used to wear in the 70s that went "Drinking problem? I drink. I fall over. No problem."

Ohboyohboyohboyohboyoh…

If you feel like spending any more time on it, you could show your brother a picture of what happens to your dad when he falls. Because it's just not funny any more. I appreciate (and smiled at) what you say about trying to talk to him, so maybe stark images would make more of an impression than words.

It's a matter of tackling the positive good intention. Your brother doesn't give your father beer because he thinks it's bad for him. He gives it to him because they both like it and he refuses to see that anything has changed. He doesn't see the harm. So show him the harm.

That may not stop him, of course. Denial is a powerful thing.
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I don't understand why your brother would want to put your dad in a position to get sick. If the brother wants to drink, fine, but why drag dad down with him during this visit? If you told your brother that your dad was allergic to peanuts would your brother bring a whole bag of peanuts over for your dad to snack on?

Now that I've gotten my two cents out of the way, don't worry about the guys while you're gone. You can't control someone's behavior and it will ruin your time away if you're worried about this the whole time. My dad had a drinking problem and he had certain people who were triggers. If it were me I'd get away and have a wonderful, peaceful time NOT worrying about my dad.
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daughterlinda – "Talking to an alcoholic in denial is like talking to a fish." Love that. I'm going to play that sentence in my head every time I'm tempted to get into a discussion with my parent about drinking.
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The only time my husband will drink is when our son or sil come to visit. If I say no drinking for Dad, they will argue a little wont hurt him. But I notice he will become somewhat agitated.after a few drinks. When he was still well he had stopped drinking altogether. Said it didn't appeal to him anymore. When younger he was a frequent drinker, both his mother and sister died of alcohol abuse. You can't stop them. Go and enjoy yourself. Remember you deserve some time to regroup. Hugs!!
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If he MUST drink, use the non alcoholic beer. I would explain to my brother how this can affect dad and why alcohol (esp a lot of it) is not good for him. I can sympathize with your situation. Alcohol abuse runs in my family and I know if I wasn't caring for my dad, he would probably go off the deep end with alcohol. I keep a mindful eye on his usage and have spoken to him if I think he's drinking a bit to much. I have discussed the non alcoholic beer with him so he does purchase it sometimes. People are set in their ways, however we, as people can change. Just let your family you care for them and want them to be the best they can be.
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A friend of mine placed her mom in an ALF and they have happy hour in the community room every afternoon. It depends on the ALF whether or not they would have rules against drinking. I would suppose that they don't.
An alcoholic will get their alcohol, whether it's mouth wash, cologne or other if the beer is taken away. My ex MIL died of alcohol poison. We had her in our home for a short time to get her away from the beer and she drank my Joy cologne. My stepson learned how to make his own alcohol when he was in rehab. He came home and made a concoction of brewers yeast and sugar then fermented it. He had no access to money, but he did have some food stamps so he could get his supplies. He also died from alcohol poisoning. The only way someone will quit drinking is if he/she wants to quit. Kudos to you for taking that step for yourself. You could try Antibuse. Ask your dad's doctor. If your dad takes Antibuse and drinks, he will become ill.
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Is there any way you can notify the ALF of the suspicions you have and maybe they can stop things before getting out of hand. I know it might put a damper on others, but it would seem to me that these places totally ban alcohol altogether. sure some might get upset about it, but if they want to drink, then they should have to go somewhere else to drink instead of there. (but then you don't want drunks out driving on the road)........good luck
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Let go, you have done and are doing your best. Alcohol is an awful drink for some people. "Let go and Have fun"
You are in control of yourself. The other 90% of the time you are there for your father and do the very best you can. Advice from one whom has just gotten over caregiver burnout. "Take care of yourself"
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Enjoy your time off and let the alcoholics enjoy theirs. No way you can police other peoples behaviours so stop beating youtself up.
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