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My friend has a drink problem. How do I help her?

(16 Posts)
standingby Fri 15-Aug-08 20:25:42

Friend is a bossy, outspoken and very 'together-seeming PTA leader/school govenor type. Has a heart of gold. Has performed many acts of kindness to me and other parents. Is also active in the church.

She's been a single parent for years, left her dh when her child was young (he is now 14 years old).She says she can't find the right man but also enjoys her freedom. She has a good job, family friendly hours, a good income, nice home, a supportive family and a supportive ex dh - from what I know they are good friends.

She has always liked a drink - wine every evening etc, but the last few times I have arranged to meet her she has been totally sozzled.

I can see she is unhappy, but what should I do to help her? She would say she is unhappy but deny she has a drink problem I think. I don't know her well enough to have a true heart to heart - I am not a close friend of hers, but care about her a lot.

standingby Fri 15-Aug-08 21:22:57


Alambil Fri 15-Aug-08 21:25:28

you can't - unless she thinks there's a problem, there is no problem IYSWIM

notnowbernard Fri 15-Aug-08 21:26:17

Have you actually said outright to her that you think she has a drink problem?

What did you say when you met her when she was drunk?

standingby Fri 15-Aug-08 21:29:38

So if I arrange to see her and she is drunk when she arrives, I should just carry on as normal and ignore it. It's what I have been doing so far. It just seems a bit surreal

standingby Fri 15-Aug-08 21:30:47

No have I have not asked her outright if she has a drink problem. I am a friend, but not a close friend of hers.

3Ddonut Fri 15-Aug-08 21:31:14

so, you arrange to meet her of an evening for a chat/meal/drink and she's already drunk???? Am I right?

sandyballs Fri 15-Aug-08 21:32:16

So what happens then? How drunk are we talking?

Dior Fri 15-Aug-08 21:32:41

Message withdrawn

notnowbernard Fri 15-Aug-08 21:32:48

So when you met up and she was sloshed, what did you say?

standingby Sat 16-Aug-08 12:48:20

The last few times I have seen my friend, she has been unsteady on her feet, her speech is a slurred and she forgets what she has said.

She will drive to meet me (she lives a 25 minute walk away) and I have offered to drive her back home or ring for a taxi while her car is parked here overnight. But she insists on driving.

I suppose there is nothing I can do

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 16-Aug-08 13:12:36

There is something you can do if she is driving drunk - you can tell her you will not allow her to drive, and take the fallout if you have to. There is no excuse for driving drunk and it's everyone's responsibility to try to prevent it.

standingby Sat 16-Aug-08 18:25:41

Are you suggesting I ask her to hand over her car keys or I'll call the police sort of scenario?

muggglewump Sat 16-Aug-08 18:33:29

You have to do something about the driving.
You can't let her drive drunk for her and everyone else on the roads sake.
Take her keys and absolutely don't let her have them.
I'm not saying that'll be an easy thing to do but think of the consequences of her driving

Dior Sat 16-Aug-08 21:11:02

Message withdrawn

JuneBugJen Sat 16-Aug-08 21:18:47

Had this with my mother. Often drunk at odd times, always had a reason for it etc.

I ignored it on the grounds that I never found the right time to say anything, if she was sober and I approached her she deflected the probing like a boxer. If she was drunk, she was beligerent as hell. Couldn't win.

Only way I was finally able to corner her at last about her behaviour was catching her in the act of drinking vodka in my spare room when she was supposed to be helping me look after my very ill ds. I confronted her in a very non-judgemental way ( I hope, at least she said so) and tried not to make her feel ashamed. Its been 2 months now and I think she has taken it all on board.

Not sure what you should do. I think the catalyst would be to refuse to allow her to drive home again in that state. Morally you have to do it for other people. It will make you feel sick doing it (my head felt light and awful the whole way through confronting my mum) but if you feel you can help her in a loving way then you must do it. But accept she may not want help.
Even so, you have to tell her you will not tolerate drink driving and although you love her you will call the police the next time she does it.

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