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. nik

    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

  2. Concerned

    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

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

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