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Father of the bride has prescription drug problem

I'm hoping other brides can give me some advice. My fiance and I are planning our wedding, and I'm struggling with how to handle my father. He's addicted to prescription pain pills, and as a result, he's thin, feeble, glassy-eyed and has trouble following conversations and putting sentences together. It breaks my heart, but after several family blowouts, he and I have recently agreed to disagree about his problems. I certainly want him at the wedding, but a part of me feels that I should limit the event to family only, so our friends and extendeds don't see him like this. (And to avoid any awkward toasts...) Has anyone else faced a similar situation?

Re: Father of the bride has prescription drug problem

  • So,  you are going to build your whole wedding around your fathers drug problem?

    If you  only wanted a family only weddnig to begin with that would be fine, but that doesnt sound like it is the case.

    You need to plan your weddnig for YOU and your FI NOT your father.

    HE is the one that will be embarassed not you. By working around his behavior you are enabling him! i would ask someone else to walk me down the aisle as well.

  • Ditto the previous poster.


    There are two ways to manage this and have the wedding you want.

    1. Don't include him.

    2. Assign someone to escort him off site if he acts up.


    Your father's problems are so much bigger than spoiling your day.

  • This hits home for me. My brother died three and a half years ago from a prescription drug addiction. He mixed two narcotics together that had a lethal reaction. Just like you I had yelling matches with my brother and used to go through his things to find medication when he would stay at my house.

    I am glad I had my brother in my life as long as I did even if he was stoned most of the time. I love him so much and miss him every single day. Do not build your wedding around your dad but you also need to include him in your wedding - stoned and all. I can tell you if you do not include him you will come to regret it if he passes away from his addiction.

    As for his addiction, you can only do so much before the recovery is all on them. Just know that when you have to let someone hit rock bottom to be able to pull themselves back up - they sometimes do not live through rock bottom.

  • I agree with the previous need to make your wedding about yourself and your fiance.

    That being said, my father is an alcoholic and I know how it hurts to have to have to think about this at all...I know it is very hard and it seems like 'everyone' has their fathers to walk them down the aisle, et cetera. 

    I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this and I wish I could give you a big hug.

    Oh, and my father never came to my wedding, though invited--my brother walked me down the aisle--and it is a wonderful memory.  You'll get through this.


  • imoanimoan member
    10000 Comments Eighth Anniversary

    My father is an alcoholic and a narcotic addict.  My mother is addicted to crack.  I feel your pain.  However, I learned a long time ago that I can not live my life around their addictions.  If they realize that people are making special compensations for them--- they will never have any reason to quit.

    I would HIGHLY recommend you start attending Al-Anon meetings.  They are for loved ones of drug/alcohol addicts.  It gives you the ability to heal yourself from their drug issues.  It will NOT give you information on how to help them.  You learn that the addict and ONLY the addict can end their addiction.  It's just a great group to really learn about addiction and begin to allow yourself to recover from the addiction.  Family/friends of addicts are notorious for participating in enabling behaviors that only feed the addiction.  You will learn to live your own life--- without allowing your father to manipulate you into feeding into his addiction.

    I wish you the best of luck.  Plan your wedding without making special arrangements for your father.  If he embarrasses himself, he embarrasses HIMSELF!  Not you.  Enjoy your wedding day!

    Currently Reading: Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  • You haven't agreed to disagree if you are now planning your wedding around managing the outcomes of your father's behavior.  Because you're actually not going to invite people to witness your vows and celebrate your union becuase they might also witness your father's withered condition and behavior. Do you see that? 

    It's a drug problem.  You need help and support to deal with a family member with an addiction. He can minimize all he wants.  It's called denial. You need a strategy of coping with it - support groups for adult children of addicts, family counselor specializing in addictions.  It is not just about one day- your wedding.  It's your life.

    And who is writing these prescriptions?  A doctor?  Several doctors?  The name(s) should be on the bottles. The doctor can not reveal confidential medical information regarding your father but you can CERTAINLY report your conserns and demand some best practices, even report the doctor to a review board.  Go to the source.

    And yes, if you believe your father has a drug addiciton, if you believe his health and life are in danger, you DO have the right.

    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • imoanimoan member
    10000 Comments Eighth Anniversary

    livinitup- some addicts doctor shop. That means that one doctor could not know that her father is seeing another doctor.  Yes, there are some shady doctors that overprescribe narcotics... but that is generally not the case.  Usually the addict is manipulating their doctors and they are getting their prescriptions from several different doctors for several different conditions.  Reporting a doctor when they could be completely innocent doesn't sound like the most responsible path to take. 

    Also, keep in mind that there are people who are prescribed paid meds for perfectly legit issues, and those people become addicted to them.  That doesn't put the doctor at fault.  The doctor might not know that he's not taking them as directed.  Her father might get a prescription from that one doctor but might be buying extras off the street or stealing them from friends.  I'm just saying I would really think twice about ruining a person's career because you assume that the doctor is intentionally overprescribing.

    Currently Reading: Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  • Lurker here:  Just wanted to share a quick comment on the "awkward toasts" issue -- that one's easy. Add to the contract with your band or DJ a written stipulation that during the reception there will be no speeches of any kind, by anyone, period.  No one gets the mike, regardless of who they are or how much they beg or if they slip the band leader a $50.  My husband and I did that at our wedding -- we're both very private and did not want any well-meaning members of the wedding party sharing "funny stories", additionally neither of our fathers are much at ease with public speaking, and one of my mom's uncles is notorious for standing up at holiday dinners and reading truly mind-blowingly horrendous "poetry" --- and we had a blast the entire evening, never having to look over our shoulders wondering who might be lurking by the microphone. 

    And if people tell you "<gasp> but it's a tradition" to have the father of the bride give a toast at the reception, smile serenely and change the subject.  As many many people will tell you, here and on the knot, it's your wedding and you get to decide.  If you want to give him or others a chance to say a few words, you could always do it at the rehearsal dinner when it's a smaller crowd (i.e. the "family only" you refer to in your post).  And as others have said, sounds like it would be a good idea to have a family member or close friend designated to keep an eye on your dad and be ready to quietly escort him out if he becomes difficult or incapacitated over the course of the evening.  The most important thing is, you and your new H shouldn't have to be worrying about it at all.

    As for your dad's addiction, I can't imagine what that must be putting you (and your family through), but hope you can find some support via Al-Anon/Narc-Anon or another group.  Good luck (and hope your wedding is as wonderful as you and your FI envision!)


  • imoan, I hestitated even suggesting the doctor thing becuase its her father's addiction and he has to take responsibility for himself ... she can't make it her job to monitor it for him.  He's an addict, he's going to get the pills.  I added it as an empowerment tool if she chose to do it.  Informing the prescriber of medications that he is withered and glassy-eyed, and incoherant ... that he has 5 prescriptions from 5 different doctors can directly change what the doctors are willing to prescribe and/or manage his treatment .... it is something she can do.  If he is tied-up with a shady doctor or some website pushing pills for cash, it should be reported.
    My darling daughter just turned 4 years old.
  • Thanks you all for your suggestions and support. Anyone who has dealt with an addict knows how hard it is, and I appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

    ?Viola -- thanks for the hug. (:

    Imoan -- you are absolutely right about Al-Anon -- I went in the past and need to start back up.

    And RW555, great suggestion on the toasts.


    My father does, also...I've debated many times in my head about even letting him walk me down the aisle. Because, aside from the pain dad also started drinking again after 16 years sober.

     I rarely talk to him any more, because he doesn't take care of himself, he can't talk, he cant walk, and Im sick of everyone laughing at him because he's tripping and drooling. I've dragged him to the hospital, I've tried being mean, but to be honest, I dont even know if he remembers the conversations two hours later.

  • I feel your pain, Sitaforever. My dad is also a recovering alcoholic, and as you know, addicts often replace one addiction with another. Are you in the process of wedding planning? One of the suggestions was to assign someone to be his "caretaker" during the ceremony and reception -- would that help your situation? And could you "tweak" the ceremony so you and your fiance come in from the wings and meet at the altar? I know how tough it is dealing with your dad in this state; I'm planning to start attending Al Anon meetings again and I hope that will help me.?
  • Hi! I really feel for you. That disease is not easy to tolerate.  I would say though, it is you and your Grooms day and you should be able to invite whom ever you want.  Your Dad has a serious problem and it needs to be addressed that he has got to straighten up for you most special day!  I know what you are going through with this b/c I had someone in my family with this problem.  It has since gotten better.  Maybe have him there and tell him he has got to straighted out his life before you walk down the aisle with him.  Unfortunately is all the drug taking over him and not really him if you know what I mean. 

    At my wedding, all walks of like unfortunately were there, that is how two families are.  No one is going to care, I promise they are going to have fun and the people that actually come to the wedding are people that really and truely care about you and your man. 

     Hang in there!  Be strong and def. try to get your Dad some help!  For my situation I told the person in my life with this problem they had to straighted up or get out of my life, they eventually come around to cleaning up.  an intervention might help!  And a lot of FAITH!



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