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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UM’be’ Mine

UMbe Mine
UM’be’ Mine

Dear UMBeMine:

I have a friend who, whenever we get together, always brings alcohol… beer, wine, whatever. I think that maybe he enjoys it too much, and it’s starting to make me uncomfortable. I’m starting to feel like he can’t have a good time with me unless he’s drinking. I don’t want to confront him about it because I’m afraid I’ll lose him as a friend, but I care about him and I’m afraid he has a problem. How do I help with hurting our friendship?Concerned in Cambridge

Dear Concerned,Unfortunately, there is no way to really help your friend without making him angry- initially. These situations are always complicated and what’s best for your friend is usually not what’s easiest for you. But if you care about your friend as much as you say you do, and if you do truly feel he has a problem, you need to say something. When you approach him, be very careful and don’t make accusations. Tell him what he does when he drinks that bothers you, and that you are really concerned for him because you care about him so much. He might be in denial, or might get angry. But if he does have a problem, and you do help him, he will eventually see how good of a friend you are.

The other possibility is that he gets very angry, stays in denial, and continues drinking. Usually, this does not lead to anything good. Although your friendship might end, you are perhaps better off without a person like that in your life, and you can’t help someone who refuses to let you.

So if he’s willing to listen to what you say, take the opportunity to see it through and make sure he gets the help he needs. If he chooses to give up alcohol, you should give it up when you’re around him, too. And if he’s not willing to listen (and you should try it a couple times if you feel this strongly about it), there are other options to explore, but keep in mind that he has to want to be helped.For information about addiction and interventions, visit www.addictionintervention.com and www.intervention911.com. I hope you are able to help your friend. He might not realize it yet, but he’s lucky to have a friend like you.

Love, Pussycat


Neither of us has any formal training or licensure as psychotherapists; we don’t claim to be one or substitute as one. (If you need professional help, please go get it.) If, however, you want to hear how two open-minded, plain-speaking students (who’ve been around a few blocks and have ready ears and shoulders) might approach a given sex or relationship circumstance, you’ve come to the right place.

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