Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friend’s alcoholism is out of control

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

I would be mortified to be in that state of inebriation, but she doesn't seem to have any shame at all.

I want to include her when I entertain or go out with other friends, but I don't want to watch her get drunk or have to take care of a drunk.

I don't want to have to lock up my liquor when she is at my home.

I shouldn't have to be the "liquor police" with her.

What is there left to do?

– Disgusted


Dear Disgusted: You say that your friend has no shame, and yet you seem determined to shame her.

Think of her as an addict, not a “drunk.” Shelve your disgust and replace it with compassion for someone who has a disorder which is currently raging out of control. Look at all she has lost!

Yes, you should lock up your liquor when she is at your home. You should not drink in front of her or with her. You should not serve alcohol to her, or have it accessible, and expect her to be able to control her drinking. Because she obviously cannot.

You cannot save her from her addiction. But you needn’t enable it, either.


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