How am I meant to help my alcoholic friend when she won't help herself?

DEAR DEIDRE: MY alcoholic friend is destroying her life and I don’t know how to help her.

She is only 39, like me, and has been told she will die if she doesn’t stop drinking.

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She has a husband and three children and has been in and out of rehab. Nothing works.

Her husband took away her debit cards so she couldn’t buy alcohol. Now she asks me for money instead – pretending it’s for kids’ things.

We both know she will spend it on drink. I usually say no but last time she was so desperate I gave in.

She was drinking a bottle of gin a day at one point, but says she has cut down.

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I’m not sure she is capable of stopping.

She cries and says sorry for messing everything up, but keeps making the same mistakes.

DEIDRE SAYS: It sounds like she is in denial about how serious her problem is. Until she acknowledges it, it’s hard to help her.

All you can do is listen and be there, and suggest professional help.

My support pack Dealing With A Problem Drinker has information and sources of support.

You can contact Al-Anon family groups (, 0800 0086 811).

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