Advice about how to approach a friend with drinking problems

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Advice about how to approach a friend with drinking problems

Postby catfriend » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:42 pm

Hi all

I am new to this forum and would greatly receive any advice. One of my closest friends is starting to demonstrate real signs of a drinking problem. We are 20s/30s age and have known each other many years so inevitably social drinking falls into that dynamic. She has always been the kind of person to have one drink too many if we are out and can never just have a glass of wine with dinner, it always has to be to the extreme, to get drunk.

Recently she has taken a downward turn and has had some blows to her self esteem and as a result is now drinking constantly on the weekends, we are talking 2 bottles of wine a day starting in the morning/early afternoon and going all night. This has been for the last month. Our mutual friend lives with her and we are both very worried about how quickly this has happened and know that we need to reach out to her. It is disrupting her day to day (she just loses her weekend and has bailed on/messed up plans due to it). Unfortunately her character when drunk is very difficult to like/cope with. She acknowledges she is 'a mess' and I think the alcohol is being used to block out some deeper issues that she can't face. She currently doesn't touch a drop on a weeknight (I expect because she knows she can't stop once she starts)- but I am worried that this may be the next step. But I'm also hopeful if we reach out to her in the right way, she/we could stop things before they go too far for her to come back.

Our mutual friend has asked her to stop drinking and she has said she can't and that she needs it - so I think it's clear there is a significant problem. :(

We are going to talk to her later in the week to try and at least start her steps towards getting some help, and I am looking around for reading material and advice as to how to have the conversation and get the best of out it for her sake. I would really appreciate advice from anyone on here or links that might be useful.

Also in case it is useful to know she has a sibling who has had a drinking problem.

It's really hard to see a close friend who is smart and funny and wonderful in a situation where they could ruin their lives. I am worried about how quickly things can spiral.

Thank you all so much for any advice you have.
CF x
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Re: Advice about how to approach a friend with drinking prob

Postby Brock » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:15 pm

Welcome here CF, nice of you to care about your friend enough to inquire from us. The first link I will put is to chapter 2 of our main text, fondly called the 'Big Book,' if you read from the bottom of page 20 through 21, you will see a description of various kinds of drinkers / alcoholics.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/en_bigbook_chapt2.pdf
Our mutual friend has asked her to stop drinking and she has said she can't and that she needs it - so I think it's clear there is a significant problem.

This can actually work in her favor, the first (and second) steps involve surrendering to the fact that we can't do this alone and need help. Reaching out for that help is a bit scary, attending AA meetings seems intimidating at first, once we go once or twice we realize they are just a group of friendly folks, nothing to sign and no commitment to make, we come or go as we please. The meeting list should show if each particular meeting is closed, marked by a c, or open marked o, at open meetings a friend may accompany her for 'support,' this may be useful for the first couple of meetings. Perhaps you can convince her to give it a try, I will put up various other links which are self explanatory, best of luck to you and your friend.

Is A.A. For You – 12 Questions.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/is-aa-for ... can-answer

A Brief Guide To AA.
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-42_abriefguidetoaa.pdf

A.A. Meeting Finder.
A.A. Near You.
http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/find-aa-resources
The meeting finder usually connects to an area inter group, the phone number found there is useful for any further information, or of course you or your friend can ask here.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: Advice about how to approach a friend with drinking prob

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jul 03, 2017 6:17 pm

But I'm also hopeful if we reach out to her in the right way, she/we could stop things before they go too far for her to come back.


There are "Open Discussion" meetings open to all. You may accompany your friend and see if she can relate to the concepts of Powerlessness and un-manageability. The documentary by HBO on Alcoholism is also a great one. They have 4 different sets of people struggling with this disease. But I want to warn you that your friend may not readily embrace the solution. She probably going to compare and decide that she has not gone down that far low. But in AA we hear these stories all the time. They eventually experience those yets and the seed that was planted brings them back into the rooms. So, its still worth trying.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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