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Asperger's Syndrome and Alcohol Abuse

Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
I wasn't sure where to post this thread. It seems to fit well here though.

I have a friend who is undiagnosed, bet shows many of the traits of Asperger's Syndrome. We are a lot alike, and I can't imagine that he isn't on the Spectrum to some degree.

My friend also has an alcohol problem. It's very bad. He changes into a completely different person after he's been drinking, and not a good person.

I feel I need to get him help, but money is a problem. Does anyone here know of any resources that are specific to alcoholism in those with Asperger syndrome?

Also, if anyone here has beaten an alcohol problem, I would surely appreciate any tips you could give me. You can PM me if you like.

Thank you.
 

WHATEVERIAM

Member
Alcoholism is a very difficult disease to treat, in my opinion. There are many members of my family and throughout my life that have proven this to be true. My best advice to you is be careful, set your own boundaries and write them down so you don't forget! If it is truly alcoholism and the alcoholic is not ready to change the reactions to questioning and defense of their use can be quite fierce and include guilt-trips, manipulations and blaming.

The person with the problem has to actually see it and want to change it, just like with any other self-defeating behavior. We only get as much out of therapy as we put in, that is standard, regardless of the diagnosis.

If undiagnosed ASD is part of the problem, then opening up a dialogue about the loneliness, isolation, sensory issues, etc may help to shed some light on the root of the issue for your friend. But remember, alcohol is something that is often abused by people with social anxiety or a history of trauma as it tends to be a socially acceptable buffer.

The people that I have loved who were able to overcome alcoholism did it through AA and inpatient treatment. The 12 step approach works especially well when the individual already has an identified Higher Power.

Before you put too much of your sanity at risk, check into Al-anon so you can identify how to keep yourself safe.
Hope this helps :)
 

Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
Thank you for your insight. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

I don't exactly know where my friend is in the course of the disease. Seems like he is stuck in denial. He will say he's not drinking when clearly he has been.

It is a tough road. The only thing that gives me hope is that he did quit for over 20 years back in his late 20's. Depression, anxiety and isolation may have been the culprits that caused his demons to resurface.

He was briefly addicted to that K2 marijuana substitute, and when he was coming off that, he started drinking a little, and then the little got more and more. The K2 left him with some psychotic episodes that occur much more frequently with alcohol abuse.

I will look into the Al-anon group for myself, and try to have a serious talk with my friend about his issues and AA.
 

Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
Wait a minute ... I just had a brilliant idea !!!

My friend is my ex who is returning to me. He is extremely sexual. Why haven't I thought of this before? I will use sex as the bait!

He can decide for himself if he'd rather have sex or alcohol. No sex if he's drinking!
 

clg114

Still crazy, after all these years.
Staff member
V.I.P Member
Wait a minute ... I just had a brilliant idea !!!

My friend is my ex who is returning to me. He is extremely sexual. Why haven't I thought of this before? I will use sex as the bait!

He can decide for himself if he'd rather have sex or alcohol. No sex if he's drinking!

Please be careful.
 

Kari Suttle

Well-Known Member
Wait a minute ... I just had a brilliant idea !!!

My friend is my ex who is returning to me. He is extremely sexual. Why haven't I thought of this before? I will use sex as the bait!

He can decide for himself if he'd rather have sex or alcohol. No sex if he's drinking!

I agree, please be careful.
 

Mia

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Quite familiar with alcoholism in relatives and people I've been close to at one time or another. Sounds to me as if you're attempting to get this person to quit alcohol or at least to try and limit it considerably.

Whatever you have to offer won't fly for very long. Alcoholics don't give up alcohol for someone else. It usually takes something like a car accident, or a life changing event to even get them to consider such a thing. When they are at the bottom and the DT's have taken over, it's possible that they will consider rehab.

Self soothing behavior can be anything that becomes habitual, gambling, drinking, drug use, overeating, not eating, smoking, obsessive shopping. The attraction of alcohol is that it's socially acceptable and legally available everywhere. It stimulates dopamine levels and serotonin as well as beta endorphin. Endorphins are the natural peptides that most closely mimic the pharmacological properties of morphine, and of the three opioid families, they likely produce the greatest ‘high.' Alcohol can reduce anxiety, and has a mild euphoric effect and leads to a feeling of well-being.

The underlying issues that caused the 'self-soothing behavior' in the first place must be understood and worked on first. This does not happen overnight, there is no quick fix for this and takes years depending on the person's self-awareness at the onset. And in the beginning, any setbacks such as a lost job or illness will cause a return to reliance on alcohol. Each time the person has a setback that they can work through, they learn how not to rely on alcohol as an analgesic. There are some people who can quit, and others who never do.
 

Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
You're probably right, Mia. Bartering for control of an addiction won't work in the long run. There are very few things I can think of that would break my addiction to cigarettes ... all of them catastrophic. :(

Thank you for your insight.
 

Xenocity

Too WEIRD for the Weird...
Find away to peacefully and as a friend to convince him to see a specialist who can treat the underlying issues which cause the Alcoholism.
You need to convince him to do it for HIM!

Many if not most of the time addictions and obsession are symptoms and/or projections of underlying issues.

Sometimes an addiction and obsession are just that, not caused by anything else (like my first step dad).

Also Alcoholism like many addictions are normally inherited from parents to children.

There is no shortage of programs financed by tax payers for Alcoholics.
 

Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
Thank you, Xenocity.

I believe my boyfriend has both underlying causes (many) and a strong hereditary factor for alcoholism.

We have had a break through this past week though. He drove a 3,000 mile round trip just to see me for two days and discuss our future. I don't believe he would do that if he wasn't serious about wanting to make this relationship work. He only had drinks (just a few) the first night because he needed to relax. He didn't get drunk though.

It will take time, and I'm sure there will be setbacks, but I think he's motivated to try.
 

Xenocity

Too WEIRD for the Weird...
It's going to be fraught with difficulty.
You need to be damn sure you can handle it before getting serious about it.
If your relationship with him it fails, there is very good chance it will tank his attempt at kicking it, possibly with a severe return to alcohol.

FYI there is a medication you can get, that makes people bodies reject alcohol by vomiting.
 

Warmheart

Something nerdy this way comes
V.I.P Member
i feel like those people in the audience at a scary movie who yell, "Don't go in there!!" :fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat:

Anyone would be very lucky to have you for a mate or a friend, Cali Cat.

Please, please be careful.
 
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Cali Cat

Femme Ferale
i feel like those people in the audience at a scary movie who yell, "Don't go in there!!" :fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat::fearscream::screamcat:

Anyone would be very lucky to have you for a mate or a friend, Cali Cat.

Please, please be careful.

Thank you, Warmheart. You're a dear.

I guess I'm just one of those people who has to investigate that weird noise in the attic. Of course, I carry a Mossberg 500 shotgun with me while I'm doing it. ;)
 

watersprite

inadvertent vagabond
V.I.P Member
Like you, sans gun, I have taken some risks now and then in my life Cali Cat. I've read your words on ac here and you seem strong and wise.
Some of the risks in life can deliver fantastic rewards and be extremely fun.
Getting emotionally involved with someone who has an addiction or even who used to have an addiction is both seriously challenging, will require your sobriety to be successful, and is in my humble opinion (excuse the vernacular) possibly hairball.
I think we all like you here on ac and want you to stay whole and safe.
~ k
 

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