When you drink so much that you end up in hospital, your friend should be there for you, right?

Our elder helps a letter writer whose friend let her down.

Dear EWC

Hello! So I have a “friend”. We haven’t been friends for that long, just since September since I moved to a new town for my last year of high school. She’s been a pretty good friend. Whenever I was sick or I cried she defended me and helped me. However a few days ago, I was celebrating the end of classes with people and she was there. There was alcohol, but I’ve been drinking before and I know my limits. I hate to get drunk, and always just take a few sips here and there. But apparently I kept drinking and nobody stopped me. So I blacked out and found myself in a hospital with a BAC of 0.5, which is high.

My “friend” sent me a few worried texts but when I talked to her, she didn’t seem that concerned that I almost went into a coma. And she never checked up on me afterwards to make sure I was okay. Maybe it’s just me expecting more, but if a friend of mine was in the hospital, I’d make sure they were okay everyday. Luckily I have very good friends who unfortunately live very far away, but they made sure I was fine. I just don’t know if I can trust her. I know it’s not her fault for not looking after me as I apparently drunk myself into a stupor, but she knows I don’t like drinking and she never stopped me. I hope I can get some advice. I don’t trust her with my health or wellbeing anymore but I don’t know if I can just break our friendship.

Here4U replies

I am glad to hear that you are all right. You are fortunate to be, as your situation could have resulted in serious health issues or even worse. 

I do not know if your friend is untrustworthy; however I do believe that she is not the type of friend that you can rely on for help when in a bad situation. Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”. Your friend has shown you who she is; believe her.

You will find that you will not always be able to rely on friends to help you in situations as the one you went through. There are many reasons why. They may not be aware of how serious the situation is, they may not know what to do, or some may want to continue partying and enjoying themselves and not be bothered. They are also drunk so they may be oblivious to the fact that you have drunk too much and it has become a serious problem. People do not think well while intoxicated.

If you are looking for someone to be responsible for you, then you can only look to yourself. However, I believe that you have been very honest with yourself and you have taken full responsibility for drinking too much. I admire you for your honesty and for holding yourself accountable. You are aware that you made a mistake and drank too much that night. I suggest that you consider this an important life lesson that was well learned.

In my opinion, it is important for one to be aware of the dangers that come along with drinking and partying. I do not want to lecture you and I am not a professional in the area. However, there are many resources available to you that could be of help:

https://www.projectknow.com/research/teen-alcoholism/

https://www.medicinenet.com/alcohol_and_teens/article.htm#how_can_parents_prevent_alcohol_use

If you want your friends to watch out for other friends who might be drinking too much at a party then I would suggest that you set the example. You said that you do not like drinking so it should be easy for you to remain sober and keep an eye on your friends. I would also think that after what happened, you would want to avoid alcohol.

I would also suggest that before you go somewhere where you know that there will be drinking, that you and your close friends make an agreement that all of you will drink or at least that you will watch over one another. You would think that this would go without having to be said, however, as you learned, it is not always so. 

It can sometimes be difficult to try to stop a friend from continuing to drink. The alcohol may even make them become angry and combative when they are confronted about slowing down their consumption. A trick that I learned many years ago was to offer to refresh drinks and while the intoxicated person was distracted, I would pour out almost all of the alcohol and replace it with water. They never noticed the difference.

As I have said, I do not want to lecture you on drinking. However, I do believe anyone who drinks should be informed. Are you aware that you cannot mix alcohol with drugs? I had a friend who, many years ago, was drinking and then decided to take a sleeping pill. It was only one pill, but he never woke up. There are so many dangers that you have to be aware of when alcohol is involved. If we had known, my friend would most likely still be alive today.

You have said that since you have drank before you know your limits when it comes to drinking, but you still drank way too much that night. Could it be possible that you are wrong about knowing your limits? Many things can have an effect on your limits and it can change from day to day.

We usually expect for our friends to be like us; however sometimes it turns out that they are not. It seems that your friend has let you down and you are not feeling safe in her company. I do not believe that you have to completely break off your friendship with her, but you may want to begin to slowly limit it. I do believe that you should avoid any situations with her where you could end up feeling unsafe. She does not sound as if she has much concern for you or your safety.

I wish you friends who will always have your back.    

Letter #: 424170
Category: Friendship

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