Question – Shall I tell my alcoholic friend that I cannot see him whilst he’s drinking? Is it OK for me to mention the drinking? So far I refer to him being ill.
Answer – Only you can answer the first question. It is entirely in your hands to choose whether you meet him or not. What is your motivation for asking him this question? If it is to try and encourage him to stop drinking, then by all means give it a go, but I wouldn’t hold out too much hope. An alcoholic’s first love is alcohol. Your friend is, in effect, having an affair with alcohol, it consumes his every waking hour (thinking about it, planning when to drink and actually drinking). You, I am sorry to say, will always take second place to alcohol; if, on the other hand, you don’t like the way he is when drunk, then you are perfectly within your rights to tell him this. It’s not pleasant to be around an an active alcoholic.
As for the second question. Of course it’s o.k. to talk about his drinking, skirting around the issue only feeds into his denial. Voice your concerns, tell him how it is and if he doesn’t like it then that’s his problem.
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. I have since settled in North Carolina. I have experience working with various stages of addiction, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stages of life concerns and relationship concerns.
I tend to use a person-centered approach which simply means that I meet you where you are and work collaboratively to help you identify and work towards accomplishing goals. I will often pull from CBT when appropriate. I do encourage use of mindfulness and meditation and practice these skills in my own life. I believe in treating everyone with respect, sensitivity and compassion.
I recognize that reaching out for help is hard and commend you for taking the first step. We have professionals available who would be happy to help you move closer to reaching your goals related to your drinking concerns. You may reach these professionals by calling 877-322-2694.
Sep 21, 2016
The friend I mentioned died in July. He drank himself to death aged 51.
Sep 01, 2016
I know how to approach the subject
My 30-year-old son gets drunk almost every night. I think he downs a Mickey of vodka in his truck and comes back in the house seemingly sober but as time passes I guess the alcohol takes effect and he becomes drunk. His 10-year-old son seems not to notice the change… he soon will. His wife says he never drinks and ignores the changes in his personality. His speech gets slurred and he doesn’t make sense or doesn’t care what he says. He goes swimming in the lake alone late at night after drinking. I have lived with his drinking for years. His future scares me both health and family responsibility. I don’t know how to approach him…I know he knows what he is doing. We have a history of arguments over his drinking. I visit him to see my grandchildren but seeing him this way makes the evenings unbearable. He has a 2-year-old and wants another child… what to do?????
Aug 05, 2011
Coping with alcoholic
I was greatly helped by the question and answer. To be honest, I absolutely cannot believe alcohol consumes their thoughts, their lives the way it does. I learned first hand how nasty an alcoholic can be without blinking an eye – and, for no reason. Healing is going to take a while