View Full Version : HELP PLEASE: Acting drunk but not drinking?

05-12-2012, 08:57 AM

My father (59 years old) was a heavy drinker and smoker (he drank generally at nights not during the day). 14 days ago he gave up drinking and smoking.

What I observe is now he always acts like he is drunk. He has some short time memory problems, he seems disoriented and confused. He says and does things he used to say and do when he was really drunk.

Is this normal during the first stages of giving up the alcohol or should I be worried about other neurological diseases?

Thanks for your help.

05-12-2012, 10:41 AM
i have so many questions for you and dont know where to start. like how much did he drink? for how many years? what was he drinking? the behavior he's displaying, if you are sure it isnt attention seeking behavior, is serious. i don't know for sure the details surrounding youre (his) situation, so if you could post more detail, it would help. i stood by my sisters side as her husband who had 2 years sober, began to act drunk, have memory problems, almost act like a child. he was disoriented and sometimes didnt know who he was, who my sister was, or where he was. my sister got him to a doctor only to find out that his ammoniua levels were very high. this was, for him, the beginning of liver failure. within hours of him being on the right iv meds, his whole demeanor changed. back to his old self. only he wasnt sure why he was in the hospital, as he didnt remember it. over the course of the next year these episodes got closer together and more severe in duration. his liver had almost completely failed him. he finally was put on hospice and died two years ago. almost to the day. i urge you to get him to the doctor tofind out what is going on with your dad. every alcoholic is different. ive seen someone read their last rights on their death bed, while wife and two children cried and made funeral arrangements. he has 9 years sober to this day and he is one of the greatest supports i had in recovery. hes soing awesome. and ive heard of people who are 25 and younger dying of alcohol polisoning or liver failure due to alcohol. this really is a disease that is so case by case. one thing you can count on is a doctor doing the right tests to find out what exactly is going on. i will pray for you and your dad, and PLEASE keep me posted. i get on here a few times a day. if you have any specific questions, ask and if i dont know, ill ask my sister directly. she has gotten so much education in this field and helped so many family members deal with alcoholics. i do hope it all works out. oh and i just wanted to add, this may not even be related. it may be something totally unrelated to his drinking, thats why a doctor is so important now. take care.

05-12-2012, 01:38 PM
Hello Kelly,

Thanks a lot for your detailed and sincere reply.

My father has actually a lot going on the health side. We were seeing a lot of doctors since a couple of weeks to understand if his drinking and smoking made any serious damage to his organs.

By looking at his blood tests, doctors found his uric acid high but told us there is not a serious problem with his liver. But after reading your message I will get a third opinion for sure. I am not sure how they test the liver besides the blood test, I'd be happy to know if there is another method to catch a liver failure in an earlier stage.

He also suffered from a depression and he as a medium degree sleep apnea. So I thought maybe with the depression past and sleep apnea, giving up the alcohol and smoking might have this kind of symptoms. A neurologist saw him and did not ask for any tests. I will get another opinion in a couple of days from another neurologists to see if this is a brain problem.

However as the behaviour is "acting like he is drunk" I tend to relate this to the alcohol. He was drinking "Raki" which is a heavy Turkish drink and he is drinking socially since 30 years. In the last 5-6 years, related to his depression, he started to drink 4-5 glasses every night (small bottle).

I hope this is a temporary and not a serious problem but it is definetly something to get control over.


05-12-2012, 07:19 PM
I can tell you, in the first few weeks after my uncle quit drinking, his behavior was quite erratic. He wasn't acting drunk, he was just acting WEIRD. He took me and his dog out on this "hike" off road, hunting game poachers. (I have no idea why.) Eventually his brain chemistry leveled out again.

Definitely, investigate it. But it's possible his brain is just out of whack from the lack of substances it's accustomed to.

05-13-2012, 02:48 AM
Hi there Kaan. its good to know that your dad has been seeing doctors recently. if they've already tested his liver with blood work, i wouldnt worry about that. yes he was drinking some heavy duty stuff and this could very well be his brain just cleaning itself out until it gets back to normal. i dont think you need a third opinion personally, but whatever you have to do is fine. my dad is an alcohlic and even when he isnt drinking, he still acts drunk. i know his liver is in failure because his skin is yellow and so are the whites of his eyes. with my dad its only a matter of time because he will not stop drinking. he has no desire. i think you are doing all of the right things as far as i can see. there is nothing else i can think of that you should be doing. the blood test would have revealed high amonia levels, thats how they find it. please keep us posted as i would like to know what the neurologist or any other appointments reveal. best of luck to you!

05-14-2012, 09:08 AM
Post acute withdrawal
See a doctor

05-18-2012, 02:56 AM
hi there kaan,
i havent heard from you in a while and was wondering how everything is going? just look up all you can on post acute withdrawal from alcohol. if you search it, you will get tons of info. this site itself has info on it. please give us an update on how you are and how your dad is doing. i wish you and him the best!

05-21-2012, 07:47 AM
Kaan when I quit drinking It took a long time before my head got screwed back on straight. They say it can even take up to a year after heavy drinking for a long period of time occurs.

05-23-2012, 02:15 AM
Quitting anything we are addicted to is so hard. I feel for your dad...glad he has you :)

05-26-2012, 05:09 AM
Hello Everybody,

Unfortunately last week they found a tumor in my father's brain. Appearently it was quite big and it was on the right frontal lob which controls the personality. Neurologists say that this is why he was acting odd. Yesterday he had a brain surgery and he is still in intensive care.

Doctors told me that right now he is ok and they'll let him out of intensive care to a regular hospital room in a couple of hours. They said that they removed all of the tumor however it does look like a glioma which is not a really good thing. We will be sure how to treat the possible remains when the pathology results come in 3-4 days :(

05-26-2012, 03:22 PM
I am so sorry to hear about your dads condition. I cant even begin to tell you how much respect i have for you. Just for pushing the issue as far as you did. So many people walk away and chalk their behavior up to drinking. You knew that something wasnt quite right and you got second and third opinions. I am a parent myself and would be proud to call you my son.

So by the time you get this, he should be out of ICU and into a regular recovery room. I will keep your dad and you in my prayers tonight. i was just thinking about you yesterday and wondering how he was doing. How are you holding up through all of this? Do you have siblings or close friends and family that you can lean on for support? If all else fails, you always have us. We may not get back to you right away, but we always get back to you. Please keep us posted and let me know how his test results come back from pathology.

Hang in there and try to stay as strong as you already have been when around your dad. I know it must be hard to see your own father in the shape he is in, but if it werent for you, this never would have been found and treated. Thank you on behalf of all parents. You truly are an amazing person. take care til next time...