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Dear Andreus,

I have a friend who is in denial of having a problem with alcohol and his prescriptions.  To begin with, he drinks excessively, and is usually already drunk by noon. The even greater issue is that he is mixing the alcohol with medications like Xanax.  I am not a medical professional, but I am pretty sure that mixing is not a good idea. He doesn’t seem to think it’s an issue. What can I do to bring it to his attention without it pissing him off? 

Sincerely,

Jessica M.

Dear Jessica,

It is usually difficult to tell someone they have a problem with drinking or drugs without upsetting them.  So, you should not expect it to be that easy. However, you are being a good friend by showing concern, and if he respects your friendship at all, he will take your observations into consideration.  You can also gather some medical research from online or maybe from a doctor’s office and share it with him. There is most likely an underlying issue there, and maybe you can get him to be open to getting help.  For now, share your concern and if he is open, be there for him. 

Dear Andreus,

I have a friend that came here from California. His intentions were to stay and find a job here and a new start. He made the decision on a whim and was staying in a hotel while job searching. He then asked me if he could stay with me for about month until he finds a place and a job. It has been two months and he seems overly comfortable. Not only that, he has not offered to contribute in any way. Would I be wrong to ask him to leave?

Sincerely,

Brian V.

Dear Brian,

Without sounding rude, let me say that you are just as much at fault as he is.  He was clearly unprepared to make such a monumental decision, but you allowed him to move into your space.  BOUNDARIES are everything! I cannot stress that enough. I am sure that you were trying to be a friend and help, but the moment someone moves into your space, you must set boundaries.  There should have a discussion on a definite time frame and plan. Now, unfortunately, you might be stuck. You can ask him to leave but it doesn’t mean that he must go, especially if he has received mail, he can squat.  If you are open to him staying, then you do need to establish rules and he should be contributing to your household financially. You have the right to voice all of this, and I would do it sooner than later.