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Dear Hillary: Black Out Blues

March 2, 2009

by Hillary Tribbs
Dear Hillary: Black Out Blues

Dear Hillary,

My best friend gets absolutely black out drunk every weekend. It’s turning into a problem because being black out is her goal whenever we drink even though the rest of us aren’t doing the same. I am really concerned that she might get hurt while drunk even though I know that CMC is safe. What can I say without hurting her or losing her as a friend?

Wow, this is going to be one intense conversation. I think the best way to approach it is to be honest and very direct about it. I would advise you not to bring your other friends into it because she might feel like she is being ganged up on. If she discusses it with them and they are able to express similar concerns at a later point that might help your case. Sit her down sometime when you both have time to talk it out and try to express in a nice way that you are concerned that something might happen to her. You might want be able to ask her why she feels the need to drink that much, but that might come off a little strong and I’d be wary of asking that too directly. You don’t want her to feel like she is being attacked, it’s better to frame it as a legitimate concern for her health and safety.

If you are not ready to talk to her about it yet there are some decent resources for counseling on campus. These are also available to her if she agrees it is a problem she might want to seek help outside of your social support and see a professional. Monsour Counseling & Psychological Services Center is a good place to start and if other resources are needed they would surely provide more information for you both. RAs are always on hand if you feel like you need someone older but slightly less official to talk this over with. I would advise against talking too much about this with other friends just because you might not want to seem like you have talked to everyone but her about it. It’s also not good to talk behind your friend’s back anyways, so this direct approach might make it a simpler problem. You don’t want to have trust issues on top of drinking issues. Good luck!

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