Q: I have a friend who I know has a drinking problem. He has left home and his parents are worried about him. He’s 21. They called me after he was gone for the first week but I hadn’t heard from him.

I have now and see him a couple times a week. He is living here and there. No real home and drinking a lot. He told me not to call his parents but I feel I should. He needs help. Would I be a bad friend if I called?

A: I think that since he is an adult you probably shouldn’t tell his parents. It’s tough on them to be worried about him, but it’s up to him to decide whether to contact them and about what.

I think you’d be very wise to tell him that you know he has a drinking problem, and you are extremely concerned about him, and you’d like him to go with you to an appointment with an alcohol counselor. I suggest you go with him so that the reasons you have for thinking he has a problem get clearly stated to the counselor.

You can find a counselor by calling a Family Service Agency in a larger town near you. You might also want to read “Are You Considering a Therapist” at my site.

If it would help, you might show your friend that you wrote to me and tell him what I said…

I’m glad you care so much about your friend! He’s lucky to have you.

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