Is it a drinking problem?

His girlfriend says it’s mostly Red Bull but the party pics she’s sharing tell a different story.

He’s concerned—and so is our elder. Read on for suggestions on what to do when a friend is in denial.

Dear EWC:

Okay so the problem I have has to do with my girlfriend. We are both 16 and we pretty much have everything in common but 1 thing, and that is drinking. I have never drunk anything in my entire life but my girl has and she does it maybe every 2nd week and sometimes every week on the weekends. 


From what she has told me she doesn’t drink too much and that she mixes alcohol with Red Bull, which mostly contains Red Bull. I want to believe her but sometimes she sends pictures of her looking real drunk and I have also heard that mixing stuff with energy drinks just helps you drink more. I don’t usually get invited to the same parties she does but when I do even then I don’t go cause I know I will be forced to try. 


So the things I really need help with is how can I help someone to stop drinking? And how do I get over trust issues? What I mean by trust issues is that I have heard what can happen at parties and it usually doesn’t end well when their partner gets to know about it. 


Don’t get me wrong I want her to be happy and be with her friends but the major problem I have with that is that they always drink when they are together and I don’t want someone telling me one day that she cheated on me cause I know that I wouldn’t be the same after that

Ketchman replies:

Thank you for your message, I’ll try to help.

There’s no way to sugarcoat this. Your girlfriend is in danger of damaging her mental and physical health. Everything I’ve read or heard about alcohol strongly indicates that excessive use of it will damage your body and brain. A teenager’s brain is still growing and changing and so the consumption of alcohol can be a lot more harmful to a 16 year old than to an adult. 

Drinking alcohol with Red Bull, or similar products crates additional problems. The Red Bull makes you feel like you’re not drunk and fully in control of yourself while, in reality, your judgment remains impaired. That means that you’re more likely to do things that under normal circumstances you wouldn’t think of doing. What you’ve heard is correct. Drinking Red Bull with alcohol will encourage you to drink even more. That’s a dangerous combination.

So, what to do? I think you need to convince her to change what she’s doing. That won’t be easy because it would, likely, mean she would have to give up the friends she’s been drinking with. You’re going to need some help with that. Alateen is an organization for exactly that purpose. It’s designed to help teenagers who have a friend or relative who are misusing alcohol. Use this site to find their nearest location They can give you the assistance you’re going to need to help your girlfriend out.

I have to warn you that you’re on dangerous ground.  It’s important, and the right thing to do, to try and rescue your girlfriend from her situation. It’s just as important that you avoid getting yourself trapped in the same situation by joining her and her friends in their drinking parties. If there’s any hope for her she’ll need someone sober to lean on. If, despite all your efforts, and the help of Alateen, she continues her drinking you need to seriously reconsider your relationship. You have a responsibility to yourself to have a healthy and fulfilling life. You mustn’t allow someone else to take that away from you with their unhealthy habits.

You sound like a strong and caring person and I hope my words will help you to get help for your girlfriend and, as important, keep you strong and healthy. 



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