I think my best friend is an alcoholic

Old 06-02-2007, 09:51 PM
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I think my best friend is an alcoholic

My best friend has been engaging in destructive behaviors since we started college. She never drank until we started college, then in an effort to shed a goody-goody label, she started drinking to excess and sleeping around. Now we're finished with college, and in addition to a degree and a job, she's gotten arrested for DUI, been hospitalized with what was most likely alcohol poisoning, and for a period of time was using marijuana and cocaine (I believe she has stopped this).

The most recent issue occurred this past week. She is on probation for the DUI (requiring her to not drink at all) and is only permitted to drive to work. This has not stopped her from drinking. We went out to dinner, where she drank 2 beers, then went over to another friend's house, where I don't know if she was drinking or not (she denies it). She left the friend's house at 3 or 4 in the morning, was driving home WAY too fast and crashed her car into a fence. She left the scene of the accident because she knew she would be arrested for violation of her probation. She's uninjured but her car was totaled, and she wasn't arrested because she refused to state who was driving to the police.

I want so much to believe that this incident was the wake-up call she needed to get herself help. After this occurred, she told me for the first time that she does think she has a drinking problem, and I told her that I agreed that she does. I also told her that she needed to get herself help, and she promised me that she would. But when I suggested AA, she said that she didn't think her problem was bad enough for that. I know she doesn't think she's an alcoholic. She has a significant family history of alcoholism, which she's aware of, but she's in denial and she refuses to accept the consequences of her behaviors. She doesn't think she did anything wrong the other night.

I've talked to her parents and we're all at a loss for what to do. She's made an appointment with a therapist but I don't know if that's enough--I don't know if she realizes the gravity of the situation. I think this incident scared her a lot, and I want so badly to believe that this is the big thing that will make her get help, but I don't know for sure and I couldn't live with myself if something happened to her and I hadn't done everything in my power to help her.

My fiance thinks I should stop giving her a shoulder to cry on, stop supporting her emotionally, and just tell her flat out that she has to change or I'm gone. I don't know if he's right. I don't know if I can do that. I know she needs help, but I don't know how to get it for her. Please help--any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 06-02-2007, 10:04 PM
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Location: South Shore MA
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You have done all that is possible to do for her.
When she was ready and asked you gave her the truth and answers that could help. Telling her about AA was the right thing to do.
AA isn't the only way and her therapist may direct her all the more as well.
Till she is ready, she won't change. Till she was ready to say tha she thinks she may have a problem, she wouldn't even say that. She is at step one...starting to notice and accept what is what. Encourage her to keep her appointent with the therapist.
Ok so you don't think you have a problem? Then a visit with the therapist will help you see that you are right...go anyways.
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Old 06-03-2007, 06:40 AM
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Dr Bob used to tell a story about a man who died from alcoholism. At the funeral all his family admitted he had an alcohol problem and admitted it was his undoing. Dr Bob asked if he has tried AA and the response was "Lord no, he wasn't that bad".

Dr Bob, if you don't know, was one of AA founders.

Tell this story to your friend, maybe it will strike a cord.
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