Homeless can my ex partner get help

by Anthony
(Twford, Berkshire, UK)

Dear Team,

I had been dealing with my partners “ Maggie” long term drink problem which forced us to part when social services got involved when she was turning up to school under the influence to pick up our son. At that time we were all in denial of our situation, my son (11yrs) now lives with me as the social service put him under a “child in need" order. I did support her with rent, all bills for a year to get her on her feet, her next of Kin did not want to get involved.

A year later sadly she refused to stop and her liver failed. She spent the last 6 months in and out of hospitals and hadn’t touched a drop of drink since around December. She was given around 6 months to live, if she was unable to get a transplant. On these grounds her sister decided to take her in. She was discharged last week from the hospital and moved in with her sister. Within the first two days she started drinking again. She can barely walk due to illness and loss of strength from being bed bound for 4 months and she was told if she drinks again she will die.

She fell and hit her head and was admitted to hospital where her sister refused to take her back. She has no one else; she was discharged yesterday and now is in a bed and breakfast. My worry is she will either fall or drink herself to death and she needs care. She can just about climb stairs. I feel the social worker did not visit her and assess her properly, just a phone call and she was told she was not fit to receive any support!!!! Is there any way she can be re-assessed. Ideally she needs to be in rehab?

Can you help, we all feel we need to take a stand to make her see what she’s doing to herself and her family and hoping there is somewhere else rather than let her die in a B&B. Is there anyone we could talk too out there who can help? She has some savings?

Kind regards, Anthony


I’m very sorry to hear of your situation. The detrimental effects of alcohol on the body are devastating. There are many treatment programs available nationwide. I am not able to direct you to any particular one. I highly recommend that you research ones across the country that could benefit her. They may be very expensive and you will have to determine how much she can pay.

Keep in mind that ultimately she is responsible for the choice to quit drinking and improve her health. She may need help for depression as well. It must be incredible difficult to be in her shoes right now. Counseling would be very beneficial. She will need to deal with the underlying reasons for her alcohol abuse.

It is so hard to watch loved ones make poor choices for their lives that affect our lives and the lives of their children. Unfortunately, you cannot control her. If she wants to keep drinking herself to death, there is only so much you can do. However, if you love her, you need to assess how far you’re willing to go to save her from herself.

Read alcohol treatment programs and compare them as well as look at their prices. There is definitely help available. Encourage her to seek it as well. You can be a great support to her and encourage her with the idea that you believe she can overcome this. Regardless of the outcome, I’m sure your support is invaluable to her as she walks this journey.

If money is an issue here is information on finding free alcoholism treatment.

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