Paddling & Booze

Alanon rather than AA? Confused
Alanon is for friends and familes of, AA is for the actual alcoholic. Two completely different groups (who should NEVER be in the same room).

my mistake

– Last Updated: Dec-11-14 1:40 PM EST –

I was using "al anon" to abbreviate alcoholics anonymous. I'd meant "alcoholics anonymous"; my bad.

If you friend wants to stop
it is entirely up to him. It takes a certin kind of strength to stop drinking. He will have to avoid situations where his drinking usually occurs, not to hard if it’s in a group, you just avoid that group. Much harder if you drink at home. Then it’s all up to you. After a while you can go out in public, then you kind of start over. But you need the strength to just say no. It’s hard the first few times, but it gets easier as time goes on. But he has to decide and make all of the effort. No, it’s not easy.

I’ve done it.

drinking and the outdoors

I used to raft with people that drank a lot. It impaired their judgment and they did stupid things. Some quit the sport.

Recently I went deer hunting with a friend for about 6 days. He fell in the fire and I had to pull him out. He fell asleep in 10 degree weather on the way to his sleeping bag. He only drank at night, but I told him that he had a problem. I will not spend time in the outdoors with him again.

He had part of #1 already
Alcohol-induced seizure.

Whether he believes alcohol is to blame is another thing. The guy might be in denial.

I know a heavy drinker, who may or may not be alcoholic, who had surgery. Upon waking up from anesthesia, he was told to stay hydrated (among other things). The first thing this guy asked was, “Is beer a hydrator?” When he told us this (over a beer, at a restaurant he chose for its beer selection), I said it’s liquid but it is also a diuretic, so drinking water would be a lot better, the same advice he got at the hospital. He insisted that the beer was perfectly good for hydration and it was the first thing he thought about when he woke up from the anesthesia. NOT “Am I going to make a full recovery?”, nooooo, it was “When can I have a beer?” To me, he’s already got the problem, but I bet he would deny it.

All good insights
I have not personally had to deal with this issue on this scale with friends or family before. Obviously I know the dangers of his drinking & paddling. Devistated, yes he will be. But like I said I’m looking at the big picture, which is him getting help (if he wants it)since it’s friends first & paddling second.

I talked with some of his family members since my initial post, and they are going to take center stage regarding this, as they should.

I just wasn’t sure about all this. Never had to do it before. If we were in a dart league, I wouldn’t care. (unless I got a dart in the eye)Drink all you want, just don’t drive. But this is WW kayaking, and is why I posted here and not AA. I don’t want to endanger myself, him, or anyone else on the river. Sounds like I really need to pull the plug. Thanks to all who posted. BTW I don’t drink at all.

I too have had to pull a drunk out of the campfire (twice in the same night)

I guess I might have to do some solo missions next spring?

Solo missions?
There must be other sober paddlers around you. Or convert non-paddlers into paddlers. Probably easier than converting a drinker into a non-drinker.

Good point
Pikabike. You’re right, it is probably easier to convert a non paddler, than convert a drinker.

Yes I do some solo runs whether I have a paddling buddy or not. Work, family, personal schedules don’t gel all the time, so sometimes it’s either solo, or stay home. I know, I know, NEVER paddle alone say the majority. ( I give my dry land friends my agenda for the day before I go out)

There is a WW club in my state (MN)but it’s always last minute & farthest away from where I live. I’ve only been able to hook up with them twice in 3 years. Better than nothing, but I am used to making 20-30 runs a season.(almost every weekend)

maybe by next summer
He’ll need to be on the water to keep his mind off of alcohol.

Nothing wrong with paddling solo if you’re qualified to do so which you seem to be. It’s just another calculated risk. Your friend is blessed to have you. Hang in there.

You’re…his mother? Exactly what ages

– Last Updated: Dec-12-14 12:58 PM EST –

are we talking about? He's continuing to use you to run his life for him. Have a friendly rap(talk) session with him about getting into some line of work and education that leads to that work, or something close to it....and back that up by skipping his party-days on the river... Time to find a new paddling-partner #1 with him as #2..which isn't that bad...but show him you enjoy another lifestyle away from the stream.
Being a true friend means not always talking party-time or paddle-time.
He'll appreciate that kind of friendship later on.


River runs make it more difficult

– Last Updated: Dec-12-14 6:57 PM EST –


I paddle alone more often than not, but it's on the sea. That Never Paddle Alone advice is so simplistic as to be ludicrous. But that's another thread topic.

When I lived in Colorado, I sometimes read, which is geared towards WW river paddling. Seems like there were always requests for paddling partners for specific runs (or a range of them). If you have a similar web board for your area, it might be worth checking out. Of course, since it's strangers, you might also end up going with, *gulp*, another alcoholic or a druggie. E-mail followed by phone call(s) would be better than just Internet contact.

Good luck, and maybe your buddy will decide to get clean.