Ask Angela: I think my friend is an alcoholic

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  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Sept. 16, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    First, having friends and a family member who are in recovery, there is a huge differnce between mouthwash and booze. Second, a person who is addicted to anything will decide when to change. If anyone tells a third party, it should be your friend, not you. That is not yours to share. Go to AlAnon, read The Big Book, talk to your friend and tell her you have done some studying. There is AA online, where you can find groups in your area. Take her for an adult conversation somewhere, maybe some takeout in the park. If she's drinking before church, that's the kind of indication she doesn't want to go without her drink (smokers do that, too). Let her know you noticed and you thought she might want to share (or whatever fits your communication with her) and in case she does, let her know you did some reading, in case. And you'll go to support groups, if she likes, or whatever will be helpful.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Sept. 10, 2013 4:38 a.m.

    God has revealed in scripture that all souls are precious to Him. If we are to be "joint heirs with Christ" and become like Him, such a scenario involving one of His daughters is very important, no matter the depth of friendship that currently exists. Here are some ideas that may help.

    Pray, study topics on addiction with Church materials and scriptures that address this affliction, and fast for your friend. These three activities can call forth the powers of Heaven and provide revelation you are entitled to receive with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.

    Fear may exist because God wants you to seek Him over your own will to gain greater faith and trust to become an instrument in His hands for your friend. God often invokes the services of others to help His children and this scenario sounds very much like that mutually beneficial pattern (for you and your friend).

    After doing all you can, leave the rest to God and trust the way He guides you to support your friend despite challenges. Be her unconditional friend even if she is angry in a moment. Your service can help change her heart.

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Sept. 9, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    In order to obtain a temple recommend, Mormons are asked specifically by their bishop if they drink alcohol. Non-Mormons might not see this, but a Mormon can’t hold a current temple recommend *and* be drinking alcohol without living a double life. It is not an emotionally/psychologically healthy place to be. Even if this is just a “casual” friend, this is not a situation you can turn a blind eye to. If this was a close friend, I’d ask them about it directly. If I didn’t think I knew them well enough, then I would absolutely express my concerns to the ward’s bishop. That person needs help.

    For the benefit of non-Mormons who might read this, Mormons don’t shun members who struggle to follow our rules. As the Bible says, we are all sinners. A Mormon with a drinking problem can still attend church in a Mormon chapel on Sundays. They just can’t enter a Mormon temple until they get their life back in order, which for a Mormon includes abstaining from alcohol because we have made a covenant with God not to imbibe.

  • PFMom Post Falls, ID
    Sept. 9, 2013 8:45 a.m.

    Leave her alone. You say you're just a casual friend? Have you ever seen her drink? Maybe she has an occasional drink to deal with stressful situations (i.e.: Church). or perhaps this friend of yours is concerned about bad breath and uses mouthwash or binaca frequently. The fact is, you don't know if she is drinking or not and you certainly don't know in what quantity. Leave this to someone who is closer to the situation and actually knows whats going on. When I was a teenager, a friend ratted to the bishop that I was having sex with my boyfriend. Why? Because she saw us holding hands and I was wearing a sleeveless shirt. Mind your own business.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 7, 2013 11:08 a.m.

    I would recommend you first go to an Al Anon meeting rather than an AA meeting.

    Always start with love--I once told someone i strived to be the type of friend--like the commercial--"friends don't let friends drive drunk" supporting and protecting a friend from self-harm.

    She may just get defensive, but continue to reach out to her.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    A difficult situation. I suspect her friend's first reaction will be denial. It may take a few conversations to get to reality. That is if the friendship can last that long. If the friend is very defensive, this may end the friendship. "Concerned" needs to be prepared for that possibility.

    This does not mean the conversation should not take place. It is too important. But "Concerned" needs to feel comfortable that, should the friendship end, she did the right thing to try to help. And, if she had kept quiet, she would have felt even worse as the alcoholism damaged "Concerned", her family, and others.

    As to the Bishop or R/S President. If the first few conversations go well, then "Concerned" could offer to go with her friend (if she wants) for moral support to begin seeking Church and other resources to help her conquer the alcoholism.

    Make no mistake, we call alcoholism an addiction for a reason. It is not just a bad habit that one can break by simply walking away.

    I wish both of them well.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 7, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    No one will change until they absolutely have to. So until they find the bottom the reality of what they have done wont sink in. Alcohol is a dis-ease, it start to decompose your insides, and you crave it all the time, as it slowly causes pain and suffering. not only for your self but for every one that cares about you. It will cause depression, so all you think about is not to think. Regrets is what keeps us human. I would find a AA meeting and go. Than tell her about your experience going. than ask her to go with you. They really are interesting stores that are told. That there is hope. The first step is showing that there is hope, it's up to her to use her own judgement.