How Can I Help My Friend?

by Julie

My dear friend, who is like a daughter to me, intentionally overdosed on drugs and alcohol this morning. Her children called me when she told them she was ending her life. They did not know what to do. My husband and I were at her side within five minutes but we were unable to rouse her from a semi conscious state. The police and ambulance took almost an hour to respond. When they did arrive they were apathetic and appeared to be in no hurry even though my friend was by then completely unresponsive. She is 41 years old and the mother of three children. She is a sick person, not a bad person. In fact, she is a very kind, compassionate, caring human being. Besides consuming about 24 cans of beer a day she also takes prescription pain medications.

Her alcoholic husband left her and the children on December 23. She was very depressed and upset. Her neurologist told her over a year ago that she would have to treat her for alcoholism before she could treat her for the grand mal seizures she endures several times a week. At this moment she is in the ICU on a ventilator and intravenous fluids. The nurses told us that she was “sedated”. I can’t believe they would give her more drugs to sedate her. She was already unconscious! Is she in a coma? Last week her doctor told her that she was at high risk for a heart attack and she also discovered an egg size lump in her breast. She does not eat for days but maintains herself on beer from early morning until she passes out at night. Will she survive? And if she does, how can I help her? Her children are devastated.


Your desperation and sense of helplessness really comes through here and I can fully understand how it is you feel. Unfortunately there is very little I can say that will bring you comfort. I can’t answer your questions as I know nothing of this case and am not a doctor.

What I can say is that your are doing all that you can at the moment and that your friend is very lucky to have you, as you have shown yourself to be a truly caring and compassionate friend.

When your friend recovers from this particular ordeal she will, I hope, seek help for her drinking and prescription painkiller addiction. You can support her in this and help her find the treatment she needs. For possible treatment options for alcoholism, you can visit the following pages:

Alcohol Treatment Programs

Alcoholics Anonymous

You might also find Alanon useful, this is a support group for those involved with alcoholics

I wish you, your friend and her children all the best.

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