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Is my friend and Alchoholic.....?(19 posts)

Is my friend and Alchoholic.....?african
Nov 12, 2003 7:53 AM
My Friend is 34, I have known him for 8 years and he is my room mate. Back in the day we could both party and drink. But he never stopped. He works as a barman, and his shifts end about midnight or earlier, he is up later than that all the time. He does not drink everynight but just about. He can put away a 6 pack every night (or more, only beer never anything else). He will sit on his own and drink till 4 in the morning. I am sure we all agree that we all enjoy a beer, but at a minimum of a 6 pack a night every night.

He just got a new girlfriend and in the past 2 months I have known her to throw up 4 times, this could be a case of her trying to drink with him. They are going to get married, she is 38 (3 kids) he has never married. My friend does not have a car but will walk to a corner store to get a 6 pack at 11pm.

I have bought beer for myself (a different brand to his) and he will drink my beer. He can drink 10 beers and you can wake him up the next morning at 8 am and he will function with out a hangover. He never looks totalled after drinking. It is like 6 beers to him is like a glass of water to me.

I am not sure whether I should be the cool friend and just let everything slide, or be the dic> and confront him (yeah I know the whole bit about a true friend would say something). His last girlfriend hated his drinking and smoking and we did discuss his drinking habits. My girlfriend is a Nurse practioner and she is mortified by his drinking habbits.
I just can't imagine the amount of beer he drinks night after night.
Any comments or suggestions.
likelymohair_chair
Nov 12, 2003 8:19 AM
It's not the quantity of beer he drinks, it's that he will drink on his own until 4 in the morning. Drinking alone is usually a key indicator.
sounds like a functioning alcoholicColnagoFE
Nov 12, 2003 8:53 AM
there are plenty of them around. personally i dont think a 6 pack is extremely excessive though. i'd be more worried if it was 10 plus beers plus shots till he passes out every night. that said...drinking alone and every day suggests a possible alcohol dependency.
New Diet...Drink your way to fitness!ColnagoFE
Nov 12, 2003 9:35 AM
New Diet says: "getting fit as simple as picking up a bottle of booze!"

http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/07_03/07-03-drink-fitness.htm
I'd be more concerned that his "new girlfriend"...94Nole
Nov 12, 2003 9:58 AM
with 3 children is about to make this drunk a part of her kids' lives. You ought to not only confront him but talk to her and suggest she run like heck in the other direction. Going to marry a drunk without no car (could be a message here) and a job as a barman. Brother.

please confront him. There are far too many downsides to what is going on here. While age 34 and unmarried is not that uncommon anymore, certainly the distant bells and whistles start to sound.
What would his answers be to these questions?Fr Ted Crilly
Nov 12, 2003 10:49 AM
http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/default/en_about_aa.cfm?pageid=4
interestingDougSloan
Nov 12, 2003 4:13 PM
By the AA test, it doesn't sound like he's an alcoholic. He might be drinking "too much," but I don't think that's the same as alcoholic.

I had some friends back in Kansas City who could each put away a case of beer every Saturday and still remain perfectly functional, at least in appearance. Of course, they trained for this every evening. No weekend warriors.

In my view, you are alcoholic if drinking impairs your or someone elses' life significantly. Now, his drinking your beer may qualify...

Doug
Doesn't sound good.PseuZQ
Nov 12, 2003 3:55 PM
I would have to say, definitely maybe. I can totally identify with going to the store late at night to buy beer. I wouldn't even do that for tampax, but for booze, hell yah.

I'm not sure what to tell you about whether you should intervene. I definitely think it's not your business to be telling his GF that she should split. Also, I think if you did say something, it may not change anything. Likely he'll go into denial, and if he does reference having any sort of problem, it will be because someone or something is "driving him to drink."

I guess the most appropriate thing to do is to not enable him. Let him know it's *not* cool that he drank your beer, don't cover up for any of his f**ck*ps, don't pretend nothing's wrong.
Great answer.....................Len J
Nov 13, 2003 8:41 AM
African:

You may want to do some reading on Codependancy if you want to learn how not to "enable" him.

Great answer PseuZQ. You've obviously "Been there, done that".

Len
He's hookedStarliner
Nov 12, 2003 9:10 PM
What suggestions are you looking for? Based on your description, your roomie is hooked on booze. There's not much you can do, and at any rate, it's not in your best interest to try to fix him. As long as he doesn't get in your way when he gets liquored up, then cut him some slack. But if you find yourself having to make adjustments and detours, then it might be a problem for you. What to do about it depends on a lot of things which you'll have to ponder - from ignoring and living with it all, to moving out.
Can't say, but here's my roomate parable128
Nov 13, 2003 8:42 AM
First year law school I arrange to room with this 1l from South Carolina. Maybe late 20's. Seems like a nice enough guy. Talks in lecture, relatively bright but a guy looks like he's had some tough knocks in life and this acceptence to earn a law degree could be his last best chance.

ANYways, he proceeds to drink a twelvepack of Rolling Rott just about every night while blathering on to me about ??? or watching football alone in his room on a tiny b&w tv, and if this didn't get him to escape velocity, he had conveniently located a 1/2 p whiskey within reach. Finally, he would succeed and keel over off his chair. Literally. He lived out of cardboard boxes and slept on the floor in a sleeping bag. It was sad. HE did have a pillow though, and I made extra food for him and stuff.

As if this weren't enough, his Chevy K car was a dumpster of papers, the ashtray full of Camel straight butt ends, and upon going into his closet one day for a book I was borrowing, I found a nice little surprise. A gun. Yup, a good 'ol drunkard with a gun in the house. I quickly did the math and informed him that he would be moving out. Which he did and then promptly failed out after missing finals the following semester.

(Not sure if a parable requires a moral, but apart from 'be careful', I don't really have one)

Good luck.
I had a similar story when I was in collegeColnagoFE
Nov 13, 2003 9:03 AM
Met the guy through mutual friends and we decided to split a place to save $. We both drank, but for me it was fun and occasional. For him it became a vocation. We had split some of the bills...ie his name was on the electricity, mine the phone, etc. So one night he gets popped for DUI. His drinking escalates and pretty soon I find out he is not paying the bills. Electricity gets shut off. Eviction notice on the door. I paid up the stuff that my name was on and and moved in by myself to another place vowing to never have a roommate again no matter that it cost extra. He claimed he was getting some cash and was going to stay in the apartment by himself. I had left a few items in the apartment that I was going to get later so a day or two after I had moved out I went back for them only to find he had abandoned the apartment. All my stuff was [fortunately] still sitting on the sidewalk outside. I still had the matter of paying off the apartment complex since my name was on the lease. The roommate was nowhere to be found. Think I was out about $500 altogether which to a poor college student in the early 90s was a lot of cash. I never bothered taking any legal action as he was broke and you can't get blood from a turnip. Saw him years later sitting at one of the same bars we used to frequent--dead drunk. I don't even think he remembered the incident or that he owed me money and I just let it drop.
a bit more.....african
Nov 13, 2003 9:15 AM
Thanks for all the answers.

My friend is a really nice guy. I own the house, he pays rent and half bills all on time, even before I have to ask. He does a few stupid roomate things that we all do (maybe I am a bit fussy about this, if I did not own the house I would not care really). Last night he cooked a big dinner for about 6 of us. Then we watched some rugby till 12:30am, in the morning the trash can was full of empty Heinekens.

I think he is going through a lot but the drinking has been going on for years, probably in excessive amounts since he was a teenager.

Seriously, a really nice guy, and I think he knows that the drinking is excessive. He says he will give up the drinking when he gets married and has kids. Now he is getting married and she can't have kids, she has 3 allready. Youngest is 12, 16, 17. I can tell she really likes him and he does like her.
Talking of rugby....Fr Ted Crilly
Nov 13, 2003 9:54 AM
....who do you fancy of the final four? I just saw the England vs Wales game last night. Great performance by the Welsh, (except for their place kicking). Probably the game of the tournament IMHO.
I'd like to see the All Blacks win, if only because I can't help but admire a country of less that 4 million people, which can have such passion for a game.
Talking of rugby....african
Nov 13, 2003 10:55 AM
Yeah the All Blacks are sick. Well I have been calling the French to pull this one off since before the cup began, I still stick with them to pull it off against the English and then the All Blacks (but the All Blacks do look really good). Obviously I am a Springbok fan but I never really thought they could beat the English or the All Blacks.

The Springbok rugby needs a serious overhaul, they have such talent and passion but the administration and coaching suck, they turn players over all the time. I did enjoy the Welsh game, they could have taken that game, with less penalties. They could be a force next year in the 6 nations.

I enjoy this site http://www.planetrugby.com to get all the news and stuff.
possible approaches?DougSloan
Nov 13, 2003 9:56 AM
This depends a lot on the type of friendship you have. I have had friend to whom I'd bluntly say something like, "You are drinking too much. You need help now." They would take it seriously and would understand if I pestered them until they did something. Other friends I'd have to pussyfoot around issues and be very diplomatic. In that case, I'd maybe say something like, "If I felt you were doing something harmful to yourself, would you want me to say something?" He might say, "No, mind your own f***** business." Or, he might say, "Sure, what's up?" You might never know until you say something.

I generally loathe interfering in someone else's life, particularly unsolicited or when unwanted, but the latter approach can first determine, maybe, if he is even open to the discussion.

I don't think a friend has a duty to say something, but you might at least have a duty to ask if he is open to advice. If he says "no," then butt out, at least until he starts endangering someone else.

Or, a more or less subtle approach might be to start leaving some AA literature lying around the house. Print some stuff off the internet. If he brings it up, say, "Yes, I'm reading that to see if a close friend of mine needs help." Think he'll get it?

Doug
For general consideration...bicyclerepairman
Nov 13, 2003 11:37 AM
The symptoms of liver damage don't begin to show until one's liver is @ 80-90% destroyed. One of life's cruel tricks.
Not importantCrankist
Nov 14, 2003 1:43 PM
and technically none of your business.
If his behavior creates problems for you then get out or throw him out. That's really as far a scope as you need.

If he is an alky, you probably - almost certainly -can't help him. If he isn't, but behaves like a jerk, then it just doesn't matter. If his behavior is not a problem, then I guess there's no problem.
Not importantpeloton
Nov 14, 2003 9:47 PM
I've had room-mates in the past who have drank too much. At the time, I even thought one or two to truly be alcoholics. I have also known people close to me who have had real substance abuse problems. I've found these to be two different things. Your room-mate certainly drinks too much. This is alcohol abuse, which can lead to alcohoism. I'm sure he is aware of this, but I don't know enought to say he is an alcholic. It's great that you care about your friends that way, though. If your room-mate IS an alchoholic though, he will be the only one who can admit it and make a difference. You can do whatever in the hell you want, but unless your room-mate wants to do something about it, it will be a waste of time.

Let your fiend know that your are concerned about their drinking, and go from there without throwing around accusations. You may get a lot farther that way. Good luc to you. Be careful how you approach this.