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Drinking Problem

Question:

My question is about my friend whom I love so much who has a drinking problem, at least I think so. My other friends do not really see a problem because we are in college and everyone drinks all the time. My friend drinks about 4 days a week and drinks till he is drunk. I want to get him help but I am not sure how to go about getting him help when he doesn’t think he has a problem sober but when he is drunk and I tell him I think he has a drinking problem he says “I know,” laughing at the same time. I want to get him help before it is too late. Is there anyway that just I could help him?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

The thing about alcoholism during college years is that so many others are partying around you that you don’t get a feel for the real dangerousness of the behavior. It isn’t completely clear that your friend will leave his college years as an alcoholic. It is clear (at least to my mind and to yours) that your friend’s drinking is over the top and dangerous right now. I think the first thing you might do is to get some clarity about what alcoholism is and is not. There are many myths about alcoholism that you and your friend might have in your heads right now. For instance, many people believe that they “are not alcoholic if they can stop any time they want to”. This is a myth. The truth is that most alcoholics can stop any time they want to. The problem is that they just fall back into drinking very shortly afterwards. Knowing what is real and what is not real may help you to be clearer about the situation, even if your friend is not. It could also help you to help him get clear on what is true and what is not true. You can encourage your friend to get help. Most campuses in the USA will have college chapters of AA, the very best free, widely available source of self-help for the alcoholic. You can even offer to go with him to a meeting if you and he like. You can also (yourself) attend something called Al-anon, which is an AA-like program for family and friends of alcoholics. A support group like Al-anon could help you to gain support for the difficult situation you are in. Also, here are links to Alcoholism resources on . It will be difficult for you to get your friend to do anything he doesn’t want to do but this doesn’t mean you should not try. He may be moved by your sincerity as much as anything else and this may lead him towards something positive and healing. Good Luck!

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