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Alcoholic Shuffle

answered 04:46 PM EST, Fri November 30, 2012
anonymous anonymous
My uncle is an alcoholic. He has started to walk sort of funny, even when he is not overly drunk (he is always at least a little bit drunk). He takes these short steps and he is kind of leaned over sideways. It’s sort of like he was walking on a boat. My aunt has been enabling him for the past 30 years and she says it’s just because he is getting older. She is blind to the truth. He will never stop drinking. Assuming that the alcohol is causing this, is there anything other than stopping drinking that can help him? He is a really nice guy and it is hard to see him in such rough shape.

Jennifer Hamilton Says...

Jennifer Hamilton J. Hamilton

Your uncle needs professional help if at all possible.  He would likely need in-patient detox and rehab in order to stop using.  I am not a medical doctor, but the symptoms you describe can be a long-term effect of the damage alcohol does to the nervous system.  The layman's term for this is the "alcoholic shuffle" and the medical term is Neuropathy.  I am sorry for you and your uncle.  He needs to quit in order to not continue to deteriorate. If he should quit, he may be able to recover physically and mentally from some of the damage caused by his use. 

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