Beating alcoholism requires friends


Dear Edward,

I think my friend has a drinking problem. I know a lot of college students party and drink their share of alcohol, but latelyhe hasn’t done much of anything else. Everytime I see him he at least has a beer in his hand. He sleeps all day and misses his classes. Whenever I ask him why he is drinking so much he just says he isn’t drinking that much. What can I do to help him get back on track and away from alcohol?

~Sober Friend

Dear Sober,

I do have to agree with you; a lot of college students do party and drink quite a bit. Far too many of them fall into a self-destructive pattern of not knowing when to stop though.

I have a hard time calling people like this alcoholics, even though it is the same pattern. I believe people just don’t know how to drink, or party, responsibly.

Regardless of what I believe, before you can help him get back on track he has to admit he is drinking a bit too much. As long as he thinks what he is doing is well within reason, there really isn’t much you can do.

If you think he is only doing it because he feels that it is what everyone does, ask some people you know he admires to talk with him about drinking. If he sees that they aren’t drinking all the time and that they are still dealing with their other responsibilities he may back off too.

If you truly believe he is an alcoholic, contact the local Alcoholics Anonymous group. They may be able to provide you with ways to help your friend in the best possible way.

No matter what happens, be prepared to stand by your friend. Dealing with any kind of dependency requires a lot of support from the people who you are closest to. Express your concern and then be prepared to do whatever it takes to help him get through it.