Suicide threats and binge drinking

I first joined this forum in November after we learned my son received a citation for weed possession. I'm sorry that I have not been active since then to be supportive of others but I think I've been a little burnt out.

Here's an update: we got past his court date. He received court supervision with a hefty fine and community service but was OK with it. We had a pretty decent Christmas with him (relatively speaking) and even went on a short trip to visit relatives. In the last week, we have had 3 serious incidents of binge drinking with increased depression and he has stated he has daily thoughts of suicide. We think he first tried binge drinking on our trip when we stayed with his Aunt and Uncle who have similar aged kids with full access to alcohol. Possible triggers for the depression: maybe it was gradually escalating all along; twin brother came home from college and had his girlfriend visit (Difficult Child had difficult break up recently); Difficult Child has tried to snapchat with his birth mother twice and she has not responded; something else?

Last night he was out with a friend. He drank a fifth of rum and went running into the street calling for someone to stab him or run him over. By the time his friend got him home he was calmer and just wanted to sleep. Today he is "normal". He says he is going to continue to drink and do drugs no matter the consequences whenever he feels like it.

He refuses all therapy and help. We are seeing the therapist he previously saw. She is helpful but there is only so much she can do from a distance.

I feel powerless. Its like we are being held hostage. I feel like it is our responsibility to do something but I have no idea what. He claims to care nothing for us or the effect of his behavior on us.

If anyone has any wisdom, I would appreciate your advise.


Well-Known Member
Is he 18 or older?

Binge drinking is one form of alcoholism. Alcoholism means you can not just drink one or two beers and stop. It means you must drink until you almost pass out. Not all alcoholics drink all the time but they never stop before getting very drunk whenever they do. It is dangerous. He should not drink. He has no control over it.

On the flip side if he is 18 or older you can't stop him from anything. Does he live in your house?

He will not be able to benefit from therapy for possible other issues until he is off alcohol and drugs. So since right now he doesn't want to quit, I suggest praying a lot if you have a higher power. He will help himself when he decides to. In the meantime never give him any money or a car. The money, no matter what he says it is for, will be used for purchasing substances. Not food. Not medicine. Not anything else.

And if you let him drive, he and others may lose their lives. He needs to stay off the road unless he is sober. This is common sense. Don't let him drive even his own car if he lives in your house. It is in my opinion unethical to allow it.

I am sorry you have to go through this. Take care of YOU. You matter as much as he does. We forget that we matter too sometimes.
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Roll With It
I am so sorry. I know this is very hard. I watched my brother do similar things for several decades. He would start drinking or smoking pot and then anything went. The scary thing with binge drinkers is that they don't remember what they do after a certain point, and they often will do FAR more in one night than someone who drinks regularly will do in one night. At least that was my experience in seeing my brother binge drink and binge drug use.

I highly recommend you start going to alanon. Go to meetings and ask someone how to find the best meeting for yourself. It usually involves going to different meeting times and places as often as possible for at least the first month, until you find a time and place that really feel right to you. Each time/place has a different dynamic based on who is there and how it is run. That can really make a difference, so don't let one or two meetings make you think that they are not right for you. You need the support and to learn to change your behavior so that you are not enabling the alcoholic behavior of your son. His binging is very dangerous and there really is NOTHING you can do to control him unless you are willing to throw him out.

I will say that each and EVERY time he tells you he wants to commit suicide should be a call to 911. It should NEVER get him out of chores or whatever, but it should not be ignored. SWOT has great advice, esp about the car and money.

If your son is 18 and not in college, he should be working full time (if out of high school) and paying rent and bills to you. If he has too much disposable cash, he has too much money to go and party. Clearly this is NOT a good thing for a binge drinker/drug user.

Someone did a documentary on binge drinking where a parent drank to get drunk for a period of time, maybe a month, and they did tests to see what it did to her body. It was astounding. Her daughter was a binge drinker in college and the family was worried. The daughter didn't stop or even seem worried after the documentary but the family was more worried because it clearly showed the health risks were extreme. If I can find it, I will post it. It might have been one of Morgan Spurlock's, but I don't know.
Thank for your replies. Yes, he is 18. He has a car and I agree it's a big issue. The problem is that he is a pizza delivery driver and he needs the car to do his job. This binge drinking is literally a brand new thing. He has been obviously drunk three times, all within the last week. The first time he drank outside our home was last night. (the other two times were last Thursday and last Saturday where he snuck a bottle into our home.) We see him off to work everyday and I'm confident he has never left for work drunk. We may have to tell him that he can only use the car for work. If we do that it may result in him quitting his job out of spite. That will be a big set back. I wish I could say he would learn a lesson from it, but he has failed to learn lessons in the past. I agree it's our moral responsibility to do something and we will. by the way, we don't give him money and haven't since the last time he got an allowance in high school. And he does pay rent.

Thanks for the idea about Alanon. I will look into it.