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Am I overreacting or right to be concerned?

Discussion in 'Alcohol' started by Surf, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Surf

    Surf Member

    I'm starting to worry about a couple of my friends and their drinking habits but neither
    of them seem to think there's a problem. In their opinion it's just a few beers but a few
    beers is becoming an every day habit with at least one or two nights per week turning
    into a drunken can't remember half of it evening.

    For one of them his life now seems to evolve around the nightly trip to the local bar
    while the other tends to stop in for a beer on his way home but goes on a booze mission
    on his days off every week.

    I should point out both of them have full time jobs and neither are aggressive drunks
    so it's not like they are taking sick days from work or causing many problems for
    others. It's more a case of me starting to worry about their health and getting slightly
    tired of either having to look after them or getting called to get them home when they
    are too drunk to even stand up or end up making an idiot of themselves.

    I've known these guys for years and we're good friends but they don't seem to think
    that drinking a few beers every day or getting hammered on the booze once or twice
    a week is a problem.

    I'm not some anti alcohol crusader! I enjoy a few drinks and as they point out
    anytime I refuse to go for beers I have taken a few illegal substances along
    the way as well as do some of my other friends. In their eyes our very occasional
    drug use over the years is far worse than them having a few beers.

    I've never said they are alcoholics or even said anything that even hinted at that to
    them but I get regular grief if I try to suggest giving the booze a miss and going to the
    movies or something else that doesn't involve alcohol.

    Sorry this post is so long! I came across this forum today and thought I would get this
    off my chest and see what others opinions were on the situation. Am I overreacting or
    do you think I'm right to be concerned for them?
  2. xTinx

    xTinx Community Champion

    You are right in being concerned for them. I act exactly the same way with my friends. People take addiction lightly, thinking they have more self-control than we give them credit for. In most cases, though, the alcohol or the drug always wins out in the end and the people that take them frequently often get hooked, sinking into the black hole of addiction. There is not a drunkard that alcohol didn't topple over. If you give yourself to it willingly, it'll be hard to break the habit without scientific intervention. Warn your friends but at the end of the day they have to decide whether they're going to take your advice or ignore it. They can't say you didn't warn them and regrets come too late, you know.
  3. Surf

    Surf Member

    Thanks for your reply xTinx,

    I'm glad someone else can understand my concerns.

    I'm not sure of the best way of dealing with it to be honest, I don't want to come straight out and say
    I think either of them have a problem because that will probably cause them to act in defense, denial,
    or lead to an argument as they definitely don't see this as a problem.

    I do try to steer them clear of the booze for a night but most of my attempts fail miserably in other
    words I'll get them to go to a movie or out to play sports but inevitably they'll just end up in the bar
    afterwards. I think they believe I'm becoming boring or just want to kill their fun if I say I don't
    want to go for beers.

    I don't want to lose two good friends over this but on the other hand I don't want to watch them
    drink themselves into an early grave or end up as hopeless alcoholics who can't cope without
    alcohol when it starts to rule them rather than them ruling it.
  4. Allen24

    Allen24 Active Contributor

    I think your concern is completely reasonable. It sounds like your friends are functioning alcoholics. Just because they are able to carry on with their daily jobs/routines does not mean they are not addicted. They may think otherwise. Blacking out on a regular basis is a major red flag...not to mention very unhealthy. If they do not want to listen to you, I'd try to distance myself a little...you don't have to end the relationship outright but be careful not to fall into the same types of habits.
    MrsJones likes this.
  5. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    Yes, this is a concern. If they are drinking every night there is a definite risk of becoming an alcoholic. Since it sounds like they are having quite a bit more than one glass of wine with dinner, they are putting their health at serious risk even if they do not yet have an addiction. Definitely talk to them about the risks they are taking. They might not realize that they are playing with fire here.
    MrsJones likes this.
  6. taramarie0204

    taramarie0204 Member

    You have every right to be concerned. I have the same concern with my boyfriend. It started as a few drinks with friends after work once a week and continuously grew until he has to have a drink or two or five every day after work. Even when he is low on funds he gathers spare change for a 6 pack. I have family members who are alcoholics and this is how its starts.
    I would try talking to them, not call them an alcoholic, but just express your concern. Maybe try to plan some things to do with them that don't involve alcohol so they learn to have a good time without it. It is a hard thing to deal with but it seems like you are catching the early signs and that is good. Just talk to them. :)
  7. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    You are not overreacting but then if your friends haven't got to the point where they admit that they have a problem then your offer to help won't be accepted. The best you can do is talk to your friends when they are sober but since you say that you also drink occasionally, they won't be inclined to take your words seriously because in their eyes you're both in the same boat. So maybe you should start by quitting then ask your friends to follow your example.
    MrsJones likes this.
  8. Surf

    Surf Member

    Thank you for all of your replies. Our internet has been down for a few days so this is the
    first chance I've had to catch up with this thread. I'm glad everyone seems to agree with
    me that I'm right to be concerned and not just overreacting.

    I have tried to talk to them but without much success. I think the problem is they think
    someone with an alcohol problem is the stereotypical guy waiting outside the bar at
    opening time shaking until he can get that first drink or the tramp begging for change
    while drinking a can of super strength beer. They can't seem to realize that there are
    plenty of people living normal day to day lives who end up addicted to alcohol.

    When I was a teenager my older brother had an alcohol problem and I was frequently
    the one at the receiving end of his violent outbursts. As our parents worked full time
    they didn't know half of what went on and although they hated what he had become
    they were afraid to throw him out for fear of what would happen to him. Thanks to this
    we spent our lives tiptoeing around him afraid that something would throw him into a
    blind rage and either one of us or our property would be the target. Thankfully moving
    in with his partner and the birth of his son calmed him down a lot but I'm still wary of
    him when he has had a drink and although I've forgiven him I cannot forget everything
    that happened.

    My friends know about what happened to me as a teenager and they know my brothers
    violence due to alcohol was one of the reasons I fell into the music scene and
    experimented with drugs along the way. I've never denied any of this or my reasons
    for doing it but I think they believe this is why I overreact to them constantly drinking
    and that I automatically associate anyone drinking heavily with what happened before.
  9. Your friends sound like me from a few years ago.

    I'm not sure there's a lot you can really do for your friends. If you're really concerned, you can confront them about it (not aggressively, but assertively) and try to make them face their own behavior. You can continue to stay away from them when they go on their beer runs, and you can turn down plans until they decide to change their behavior, but it's just that; they have to want to change their behavior. They have to want the help.

    If I were you, I might try to get coffee with a friend (or a booze-free lunch) and try to have an open conversation. Not about drinking, necessarily, but about anything at all. Get to a place where the two of you are sharing, and then start to find out what they think about their own drinking. If nothing else, a safe, no judgement conversation might put them in a place where they start to look at what they're doing. That's the first step to change, in my mind.

    That is what I'd do, because I've never met a non-stubborn drunk.
    MrsJones likes this.
  10. I feel as if you can still be concerned in these circumstances. You need to get them to see if they can go an extended period of time without drinking. If they struggle to do this, there might be a problem. It is a misconception that if someone can hold down a job and seem to "keep it together" that they do not have a drinking problem, but this is not always the case.
    MrsJones likes this.
  11. mkCampbell

    mkCampbell Active Contributor

    You have a right to be concerned for your friend or family member. That's part of being family and or a friend. It's natural for you to want to reach out in my opinion. And your background is a starting point of understanding what's going on with them as well.
  12. jeremy2

    jeremy2 Community Champion

    As their true friend, you should be concerned about their drinking habits. You have every right to intervene when you see them taking that path of self destruction and hopelessness.At the end of the day, its your problem too.
  13. LadyMiles

    LadyMiles Active Contributor

    I feel for you and have similar feelings about my fiance as he seems to think it's OK to drink like there is no tomorrow. It is a scary feeling to care for someone, friend/family, who don't seem to care for themselves. I think the only thing we can do is confront them about the issue and wait for them to accept that there is a problem so it can be fixed. Remember what they say, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. How I like to tell my fiance is I can give/offer all the tools possible for him to make a change but it is his final decision as to what he does with those tools.

    Then there is my son...he is 20 and looking forward to the day he can drink whenever he wants. I know for a fact that he has a very addictive personality so I am very nervous about what is going to happen when he turns 21. I try talking to him but he is just so set on being able to drink.

    Again, I feel you in this hard time and wish you the best. All we can do is have faith that someday soon they will see the light.
  14. LostmySis

    LostmySis Senior Contributor

    For those of you are are involved, but not married to an addict/alcoholic-- be advised what you are going through now will continue once you are married. People think getting sober will be heaven-- but that is not true. A whole other set of problems develop. Addict or not, it is proven that people do not change that much generally. If the person is nasty now, they will be nasty in the future. Do not think this is going to go away. Think long and hard about the kind of life you want. If you believe your addict is sincere in wanting to get/stay sober, then take that into account. If that person does not, then consider that as well. Romantic partners can always be replaced. Children however, cannot. That is a whole other issiue. LadyMiles, I hope you talk to your son now and educate him in the ways of addicts and explain the dangers. He will probably roll his eyes, cause you know-- 20 somethings always know more than their moms. But good luck to you and your family.
  15. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    This does sound tricky, but I think you are right to be concerned, however I don't know of the full story yet enough to say whether or not the concern is warranted. Some people know how to handle it and some people don't, and as you said they have an image of an alcoholic in their mind of someone waiting outside a bar in the morning so I'm sure they realize what not to be. I say just keep guard but in my opinion as long as they do their duties and don't drive drunk then I'd just make my concerns known and leave it at that.
    MrsJones likes this.
  16. Daniel Lucky

    Daniel Lucky Active Contributor

    Everyone is different and handles their addiction differently also. With some people they can be "functioning" addicts those who have an addiction but still functions kind of "normal" as in keeping their jobs still handling some responsibilities. The bottom line remains if your dependent on some form of substance or alcohol, your an addict so things may seem ok, but that's how it always starts out. And I don't know these guys very much so this is general advice ,but it is good to show some concern. So just keep an eye open and stay aware that at any moment when dealing with alcohol things can get a little hectic! Good Luck!
  17. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    You're within your rights to be concerned. Whether or not they are alcoholics yet may be open to debate, but their relationship with alcohol doesn't sound good.

    You may not be able to convince them or force them to do something they don't want to. But at least you're there to provide them with support and be there to listen. If you can help increase their awareness of it being a potential problem, that can be a start.
  18. Acube

    Acube Member

    Every one has a right to express themselves, especially to those who you really care about.Too much of one thing can turn good for nothing, and it can happen with alcohol. You have legitimate concern and what you are going through many are going through the same problems with family and friends who just will not stop or recognize the danger.You should not give up on them and the more you get help from others to help them, the more they will realize the bad road they are on.
  19. shandrum

    shandrum Member

    You have just cause to be concerned for your friends. Their current habit of drinking is defiantly heavy drinking or more. The problem is, as it is with any addiction, until they are ready to accept that they have a problem. The problems cannot be addressed. You can only be a support for them and a positive support when they do hit that point.
  20. maryannballeras

    maryannballeras Senior Contributor

    Based from what you've mentioned, I can say that you have every right to be concerned. What your friends have been doing can't be categorized as just "casual" anymore. I guess you can let them know that you are only concerned for their welfare as a friend. You can also let them know of the bad things that can happen if they won't stop.