Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How do I help my friend?

My friend called this morning and asked for my advise, or as she put it my "professional opinion." But the problem is....I don't know what to tell her.

Her husband is a binge drinker, he has been to rehab twice, he's also had counseling, but nothing has worked. She said that he has been drunk for the past week. He starts with wine, works up to the hard stuff and then when he comes down he drinks beer. She said he was starting to come down with beer yesterday, but he gets so he's throwing up and is so ill that he starts to drink again. Today he was back at it.

I told her that we could try an intervention, she didn't think it would work. So I told her she needed to to get some help for her own sanity. I even told her I would go to an ALANON meeting with her, she said she went to one a long time ago and has never gone back. I told her she needed to dump all of the booze out every time he bought it, but she won't do that.

They are retired, but my husband and I are not, we have to work all the time and are not always available for them. I wanted to go help her when she called but I have to go to work and facilitate a staff/safety meeting, so I couldn't go give her the support she needed.

The only thing I know to do is find out the next ALANON meeting and take her to it when I am off, maybe she can learn how to help him and quit enabling him.

Please give me some advice on how I can help her, thanks.


  1. Does she really want help? Find out when the Al-anon mtg is and talk to her right before it starts. Point out to her that you keep throwing options at her that she rejects. Tell her if she really wants help to go with you right now. If she doesn't go, you have your answer.

    I have a very dear friend that is killing himself with alcohol. I've taken him to rehab. I've attended AA meetings with him. But it's his decision.

  2. I think you have done the right thing by offering to go to a meeting with her. You can not correct her husband's problem. The best you can do is be supportive. Likewise she can not stop her husband from drinking. She CAN learn how to cope with it herself. Until she puts forth that effort on her own you are limited in what you can do to help. Keep pushing her to go to a meeting. Reinforcing the importance of her getting help for herself is what is needed most right now.

  3. You are a kind friend and this is a difficult situation. Alanon is a great suggestion and a first step for your friend to get the info she'll need IF she really wants to make changes.

  4. Thank you MzzLily, Rae and Joanna for the kind advise. My friend called my husband this afternoon and said that she took all of the booze and poured it down the sink. Her and I will be attending an Alanon meeting together as soon as we can find one that we both are available for. Thanks again for your support!

  5. Hi there - just found your blog - I am new to blogging, trying to figure it all out. I unfortunately have a lot of experience with alcoholics. Two out of my three brothers died from it. The need to drink for them outweighs everything else -kids, family, friends, spouse-only the drinking matters. They don't realize how they hurt others. They have to have all of their options, comforts and enablers taken away from them (hitting rock bottom) to stop. Sometimes, even that is not enough. Help your friend get educated and be there for her. She can't continue on the path she is on. Stay strong.

  6. There's a book that I keep in my nightstand called Courage to Change. I also have one called The Language of Letting Go.

    Both of these books are available at any store that carries AA materials, or at the AA website.

    My husband was an alcholic. Both of these helped me be good to myself. The problem that most individuals face when married/involved with someone affected, is that they become enablers, and don't even know it. SHE can't change him, that's his choice. But she can be educated enough to see the patterns and how SHE can react differently and that in time may help both her, and him.

    Your a good friend.
    Keep it up.

    Oh, and you can contact me anytime. I'd be happy to help YOU help her...