Life Advice



Ask Amy: Sober friend worries about friend’s enabling

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a recovering alcoholic, currently celebrating seven years of sobriety.

A dear friend of over 30 years, “Brett,” is in a relationship with an alcoholic woman named “Emily.”

Brett has rescued Emily from drunk-driving accidents before the police arrived. He has picked her up from work for being drunk at lunchtime. The list goes on and on.

Emily lives with her elderly mother. Emily’s mother asked me to speak with her, and I did.

Everyone agrees that Emily needs help, but nobody will take action. Emily cannot make any reasonable decisions for herself.

Between Brett and the mother, they take turns every other weekend watching Emily. They hope for the best during the week.


Brett and the mother are not alcoholic, so they may not understand the negative power of alcohol.

However, it's undeniable that no amount of "saving" is going to help this woman. She needs professional help! Both of these people love Emily, but the ripple effect of her alcoholism has reached a tipping point.

Should I leave him to deal with this?

Should I say to Brett: "Give me a call when she's in detox/rehab?"


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