Q. You had a question from parents concerned about their son using more than three big bottles of mouthwash in a week. Shame on you for soft-pedaling the use of Listerine.

My dad dried out and then restarted on mouthwash. Alcoholics lie and deny. The son is drinking a half-bottle of 50-proof mouthwash a day and your wishy-washy response is not helping the clueless parents.

A. Thanks for your concern. The parents were convinced their son was ingesting mouthwash, since he had already gone through detox once. They wanted to know the consequences of drinking Listerine.

Original formula Listerine contains 26.9 percent alcohol. Clearly, anyone using 5 liters of Listerine in eight days needs professional help.

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  1. Deborah
    Reply

    I have a sister who lives with me and my husband and a couple years ago the dr told me if she didn’t stop drinking she would be dead in a couple years,well she stopped drinking vodka only because I would t take her to buy it and since she doesn’t know drive she has no way of getting it herself
    So not long ago I couldn’t figure out how she was getting high and found out she was drinking listerine. Without my knowledge she had been stealing it from the store when we would go. Just small enough to put it in her purse so one day while at the store I knew she was up to something and that’s when I discovered what she had been doing. So I told her she could no longer take a purse into the store when we went and she agreed, but now she is asking for money which is her money and so I gave her $20 and now she has been buying listerine. So now since thats all she can get that’s what she is drinking on a regular basis at least until it’s gone and then she has to figure out her next move as how to get more.
    So I told her that I have done all that I can physically do for her and she refuses to get the help that she needs. So I pray that the Lord will deliver her because he is the only one who can .it can be very stressful for me knowing the state that she has been in and she really knows that what she is doing is only going to lead to further drinking. She thinks she is in control. I try to get her out the house as much as I can but I know that I cant

  2. nik
    alabama
    Reply

    Running across these comments have only confirmed what I already knew. it saddens me because I am afraid of what is to come. I understand the struggle, because I am in recovery. I discovered over a year ago that my 25 year old fiancee was drinking mouthwash, on days he couldn’t buy vodka, or when he didn’t have enough money for vodka. even after being hospitalized for acute pancreatitis, and getting out of rehab recently, he is still doing it. he won’t admit to it, period, just works harder to destroy the evidence. but as you all know, there is NO concealing the smell. i have threatened numerous times to leave, but keep giving him chances. not going to watch the love of my life kill himself. also threatening my sobriety at this point. I came to this page today, and now know how common this is. over and out today, or else I will lose it… Prayers

  3. Concerned
    Reply

    My wife is fantastic, the nicest person I have ever known. But she has suffered from anxiety and it has led to alcoholism and depression. For a long time I didn’t realize the roll that alcohol was playing because she hid it. Since I discovered what was going on there has been an ongoing cycle of sobriety and the return of my best friend, and then the slow descent into hiding alcohol, lies, and the angry, depressed, anxiety plagued person she becomes.

    For a long time she would deny she had a problem, and put the blame on various things. The never ending “I’ll stop drinking if…” But of course there’s always another if. Recently she has come to terms with the fact that she is an alcoholic, but is unwilling to get help. She buys vodka or gin, puts it in water bottles, and then she hides them. I got better at catching her, and she got better at hiding them. We would go through this ritual where I would see signs of the cycle returning, but I would be positive. I would ask her about it, and she would look me in the eye and lie. Eventually I would catch her, and she would apologize (after a fight in which she wanted a divorce) and swear she was done with it.

    We have recently had a few weeks of the return of my sweetheart, but I have been sure for several days that the cycle was beginning again. Finally tonight I discovered that she was drinking mouthwash. She confessed again blaming other things, refused to get help, she is relieved that she was discovered because now the last temptation is supposedly removed. When she is sober she admits that alcohol reduces her to a depressed shell of herself. I’m watching her slowly kill herself. We have four daughters and she’s a fantastic mother when she’s sober, and even through most of the cycle. But at the worst of it she can’t cope with life or her children. I’m afraid she’s going to kill herself with alcohol, probably leaving us with expensive medical bills, and leaving me without my best friend and my daughters without their mother. And for what? Somehow despite all the evidence the contrary, she still believes that alcohol helps her to cope when is actually prevents her from coping. I am begging her to get help, and I really don’t know what to do.

    • JenniferS
      Canada
      Reply

      @concerned – I’m an alcoholic in recovery, and my advice to you is get your butt to an ALANON meeting ASAP

      • Concerned
        Louisiana
        Reply

        Thank you for your reply. Things got worse since my original post. After I got wise to the mouthwash my wife switched to hand sanitizer. It honestly never occurred to me that anyone would drink that. After lots of turmoil I gave her an ultimatum that she had to go to AA. I was prepared to go to any length in terms of intervention but much to my surprise she agreed before I had to spell out what I was willing to do. We have been going to open meetings together, and she has a sponsor and is working through the steps. It’s two weeks of sobriety so it’s not time to celebrate yet, but it’s the first time I have real hope that we are moving on a different path. Time will tell.

    • francis
      ottawa
      Reply

      I have been sober for 14 months now and counting! (I drank vodka)
      A rehab co- client I ran into last night just stank of Listerine, he can’t kick the booze/afford it so he drinks that stuff? If you ask me it’s brain, stomach and liver poison! As he puts it: “the first sip makes you puke, then it goes down fine!” Its not just the booze, its the flavoring in it (read up! Its scary!).
      It was never, EVER designed to be ingested! Seriously!
      PLEASE! If you do drink it and can’t stop, switch to cheap wine or beer and try quitting again. Go to an AA or S.M.A.R.T. meeting.
      I’m finally free after years of misery!
      Good luck and God speed- seriously!

      Francis K

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