Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Schizophrenic son drinks alcohol to extreme

My boyfriend’s son is 20 and drinks himself almost to death. Been hospitalized at least 4 times in last year. Addicted to the xanax they give him as well so hoards it and drinks to bottles of vodka in an hour. He needs 24X7 care managing his medication and not letting him drink. Any advice?

1 Like

We are guardian for this very reason. If we give in to all his demands and wishes, he would likely be dead by now. Funny thing is, after about seven or eight times refusing to buy him alcohol or money for it, he quit asking. It might be different if we were in the city. There are positives and negatives to everything I suppose.

1 Like

We don’t buy it for him, he goes to the liquor store down the block and asks people to buy it for him. He also works part time at a grocery store and apparently asks them as well. We can not leave him alone for a second. It is becoming extremely hard to deal with.


He combines the alcohol with his schizophrenia medications and tells us it helps him get drunk faster.


Yep, that sounds about right. Somehow my son started realizing that alcohol made it worse so he rarely asks for it. It all changes though, old habits cycle around more in SZ than in most people perhaps?

1 Like

I Would secure his medication and give to him if possible, as part of a safety plan. Is he near enough to do that? Or would that create more issues? Med noncompliance is a big issue and a safety concern. We keep all meds, even over the counter ones, locked up in our room and dispense them.

1 Like

yes we dispense his medication and actually watch him take it. he somehow hides it in his mouth until we are not looking. everything is padlocked in the bedroom. he has access to nothing. the problem is when he is ever left alone. or sometimes when we are sleeping at night. he somehow has it delivered to the house and we think handed to him through his bedroom window. it is tougher for me as he is not my kid and i get very angry at him with little tolerance. it is at the point where he cannot be unsupervised at all and not sure i can last much longer in this relationship.

1 Like

I’m sorry.
My husband has, at times, said something that used to confuse me. He will say: “This isn’t scz…this is a young man being a jerk. One is behavioral, one is psychological. What’s the rule? Rule out physiological, then go to psychological. He’s being rude…that’s it. He’s not physically ill, he just doesn’t want to (whatever it is). This isn’t scz, let him face normal issues for a teenager. Treat him like you do his brother.”

It does confuse me. So, when he threatens me outside of Walmart, because he is NOT going inside, and the Dr says he cannot be left in the vehicle (he has done some risky/dangerous things), these times I’m to understand it’s scz, and find a magical solution? When he threatens me in the same way about washing dishes, this is behavioral?

Sometimes we find the humor, and laugh. Other times, we quietly let the entire conversation go. There have been times that husband has confronted son, with disastrous results. There have been times I have confronted son, with disastrous results. There are times husband “gets it”, and I don’t. The opposite happens. Shoooot, last night our elder boy (not much older, only 15) had the most simple, direct solution to a problem with our son. Wow…

Some days/months succeed…others are misery.
We just came out of 15 months of misery, after a year of suicide attempts and issues which culminated in (unrelated, but not fun) job loss for husband. The last 2 years have been horrid!! For me, it’s when he cannot be left alone that I notice my “clarity” can get really smudged!! Too much, too close, too…well too much. I can’t live daily playing the “what if” game, but I have to. Really?!

I have seen husband withdrawl, and when confronted he expresses that he feels he’s doing everything wrong, that he has caused these things, that he is out of his depth, etc. I didn’t know he felt things so personally…to me, he is so very strong and wise, it honestly did not occur to me that he would have any doubts or insecurities.

I have also experienced his frustration at times. If medication is not dispensed (missed), there is this reaction that I am endangering our son. He doesn’t say it, there’s just a look and a curt remark. It hurts…and when we discussed this (really little thing) husband had no clue I took the criticism personally. Just like I didn’t know he took the situation with our son so personally.

I am sorry.
It really sucks, and I cant tell you it will get better, or promise anything for that matter.

I feel for you.
I “get it”.

There’s no rule book, and although this dx is far more common than people often realize, there still exists very little real life information. The variables are too great.

I’m sorry this is happening to you, and is all around you.



Yes, we have to dispense his meds and hide them or he might toss them out or throw them across the room.

Sorry to hear about this @uneasy123. Is he taking meds regularly? I’m asking because many self medicate with drugs and alcohol because they’re not medicated or their medication isn’t working. It blocks things out for awhile and so feels like it’s ‘helping’. Once it hits dependency though, it will be even further rationalised and they won’t want to connect it to any negative symptoms or the illness, or admit it’s bad for them (same as anyone with an addiction). I’m not sure of others experience or opinions, or your experiences of addiction or substance abuse, but some information and advice on this may help. It’s making his schizophrenia worse I’m sure, but it sounds like it’s a problem in itself???

Quesadilla dude told me yesterday that he wanted “to try pot (marijuana)” as he thinks “it will help” by relieving anxiety. Perhaps when he’s 30 yo. Maybe 20.

Seems you can find anything on the internet.
He asked about CBD?

Wha? He can’t do multiplication, but he can google how to kill himself, and knows all about that.
CBD, etc…he knows about. He actually said that his “receptors are dumping dopamine”.

Huh? I had to go back to Psych 101 class to recall if it’s the receptors/dopamine/something or another?

No dude…stay away from pot.
Where did he think he was going to get some?

Just my introduction to the dialog around pot use and scz. He’s almost 14.

1 Like

CBD? Funny you should mention that. i just found some yesterday in his room. His sister googled it and supposedly helps with the anxiety. If he has access to pot or alcohol he smokes or drinks so much that he is almost in a coma. Not sure if he really is anxious or just wants the xanax. They are all manipulative.


Can you explain further? (If you don’t mind…I understand if you do.)

yes his son says exactly what he wants to hear so that after a binder, things are the same. he still gets his meds, he still gets his meals cooked for him, he still gets rides to work, he still gets his cigarettes, etc. if there are no ramifications for bad behavior why will he stop?

Dual dx?
Drug/Alcohol use?

I’m naturally fascinated by behavior and the eternal quest for the answer to why we do what we do?

Thank you

He used to smoke alot of pot but for some reason does not anymore. Alcohol is the issue. He was hospitalized twice in one week for drinking so much he stopped breathing. He cannot be left alone but doesnt want to go anywhere either so what are we supposed to do? stay home 24 x 7. and forget about vacation. that never happens. i would like to put him in a home where he is supervised and on some work program. is there such a thing? the only one i found is in boulder and we are in new york


They are in Ohio.
But, (I used to be a social worker/advocate for MI)…if I use the keyword, add “NY”…I find this site:

Its a start.
If you contact them, they will probably have an “in house” list. These are great to find, as they are often more current. They might not be able to help, but can direct you to others if you ask.

Keep us posted if you are okay with that.

Great, thanks so much!!!

Where in Boulder ? Can you give me the name?