General Question

lizzieb's avatar

How do I confront an alcoholic friend about her problem?

Asked by lizzieb (8points) November 14th, 2006
We live together, she's one of my best friends, not sure how serious the problem is but want to offer a solution
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

9 Answers

maggiesmom1's avatar
As an alcoholic myself, I would say "I've noticed that you've been drinking a lot lately - do you think it might be becoming a problem?" All you can do is point out what you've noticed. The rest is up to her.
dans85's avatar
But what if she denies the problem and it's clear that there is one?
imagine401's avatar
She most likely will deny it, but I agree with maggiesmom that all you can do is bring it up to her, and let her know that you are there for her. If you think she is endangering herself or others, you plan an intervention with her friends and family.
maggiesmom1's avatar
There's nothing more you can do. You can't force her to get help. For many alcoholics, they have to hit "bottom" on their own. You can try to stage an intervention which may or may not make the problem clear to her. But ultimately, you have to accept that once you've shared your heart with her, there's nothing more you can do but try to support her without enabling her destructive behavior.
debstermck's avatar
Let your friend know you love her, care about her well being AND that you are concerned because she seems to be drinking more...a lot....often..whatever the case. There are many groups which help people who love people who have problems with alcohol. Contact Al Anon or another support group for help with your concerns AND with your own acceptance of what you can and cannot do to help your friend!
Ma-goo's avatar
It's a heart-breaking problem that has no easy answer. I've tried to "help" for years--I have sisters, aunts, uncles,neices, nephews, boyfriends, and now children who suffer from Alcoholism. In years & years of dealing with this, I can tell you that the best thing I ever did was get myself to an Al-Anon meeting.
waynelambright's avatar

Ask your friend to join you at an AA meeting as a guest. She might learn that her story is not just her story.

ItsAHabit's avatar

Helping someone who drinks too much is usually a challenge. Here are some things to consider:

Having a drinking problem does not mean that a person is alcoholic, or addicted to alcohol. The person may only need to cut down rather than abstain. Many find the idea of drinking in moderation more acceptable and achievable than abstaining entirely from alcohol.

The decision whether to reduce drinking to moderate levels or abstain entirely from alcohol is best made after consulting with a doctor.

Helping a person who drinks too much takes knowledge, compassion and patience. Some actions are helpful and others are not.

• Try to remain calm, unemotional and factually honest about how the person’s drinking abuse hurts you and others.
• Discuss the problem with someone you trust – a friend, clergy person, social worker, or someone who has experienced alcohol abuse or alcoholism either personally or as a family member.
• Try to maintain a healthy, normal atmosphere in the home and try to include the alcoholic or problem drinker in family life.
• Encourage new interests and participate in leisure activities that the problem drinker enjoys and encourage the person to see old friends in non-drinking situations.
• Be patient and live one day at a time. Changing behavior is difficult, as dieters and those attempting to stop smoking know. Setbacks and relapses are to be expected. Try to accept them with calm understanding and don’t become discouraged.

• Punish, threaten, bribe, preach, or try to be a martyr. Avoid emotional appeals that may only increase the problem drinker’s feelings of guilt and compulsion to drink.
• Cover up or make excuses for an alcoholic or shield a person from the consequences of alcohol abuse.
• Take over the responsibilities of an abuser of alcohol.
• Hide or dump bottles of alcohol, or shelter a problem drinker from situations where alcohol is present.
• Argue with a person who is intoxicated.
• Drink with an alcohol abuser.
• Accept guilt for the behavior of a problem drinker.
Remember that changing behavior, especially becoming an abstainer, is very difficult. Be understanding and patient, but don’t accept any responsibility or guilt for the behavior of another person. You are responsible only for your own behavior.

Zyx's avatar

Get her on weed instead, more stable, much less physical harm.

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