Jewish Journal


March 26, 2010

Dear friend becomes heavy drinker


From: Sylvia in Queens, New York

One of my dearest friends has recently separated from her husband of 9 years.  In the last several times that we have gone out, she seems to be drinking more than ever. In fact, the last time we went to dinner she became belligerent and did not remember several of her very hurtful and hostile comments the next day. What do you suggest I do?

Advice from Dr. Rick: 
The problem you describe is unfortunately all too common and both serious and daunting. The fact that she had a blackout is an extremely serious indication of the extent of her alcohol abuse. As her friend I think you have no other choice but to have a conversation with her telling her of your deep and genuine concern for her behavior.

Advice from Marcia:
You need to step up and jump in. Your friend needs you now. She is mourning the loss of her marriage and probably would like to medicate herself into no pain.  But she is not a good drunk and her hostility is ready to erupt. You should not be afraid to take her out for a nice lunch and tell her what happened and how concerned you are about her.

Overall Advice:

We are in agreement that while your friend has good reason to be suffering, the manner in which she is choosing to cope with the pain and loss in her life is quickly becoming destructive and unmanageable. As her friend, we both think you are throwing her a lifeline and suggest that she seek either or both a support group and perhaps a 12-step program. Do not expect a pat on the head from your friend.

Get advice from Marcia and Dr. Rick at MarciaandDrRick.com.

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