I have a best friend who abuses alcohol. I along with our other friends have been trying to get her to stop for a while now. I’m running out of options on what to do. Please help me. I don’t want to see her destroy herself because of her drinking. — Frantic Friend
Dear Frantic Friend:
I am so glad to read about how much you care for your friend. Friendship is one of the most vulnerable, loving, fun, exciting and most challenging relationships you can have. Friends are people with whom you share your life. You tell them the good and the bad. They hold you down, hold you up, make you mad, make you sad, make you happy and influence what you do and how you do it.
You have influence with your friend and this is a serious issue, so remind her that she is not being her authentic self. Share with her the impact the alcoholism is having on your friendship. Let her know that you are concerned for her mental and physical wellbeing.
If your attempts to talk with her are unsuccessful, you need to make her parents or her legal guardians aware of this. Alcoholism often masks real issues in people’s lives. Be an advocate for your friend and work with her. Try getting those who care for her as much as you do to intervene. Make sure she knows you are there for her. Remind her that friends are honest with each other, even when it hurts. And more importantly, true friends encourage you to do the right thing, be a better person and live your best life. I hope everything works out for you! VFP
This column is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical, legal or financial advice. Questions may be submitted anonymously or via pseudonym to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com. Gwendolyn Young, M.A., C.P.C., is the Executive Director of Seed of Hope Foundation, a nonprofit girls mentoring organization based in Westchester.
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