How does one go about putting together an intervention? 

Last year at this time at a Christmas party, two friends and I were talking near the food table.  One remarked that she needed to find the bar, that it had been a long week, and that she needed a drink.  I cheerfully told them that I didn't drink.  [However, after rejoining the paid workforce, my tee toting days quickly came to an end.]

A few days later, one of the women called me up for a coffee date.  She peppered me with questions about why I stopped drinking.  No, I didn't have a problem with alcohol.  My doctor said my thyroid medicine would work better if I didn't drink.  That was two years ago.  [Well, three at this point.]  In our conversation, my friend told me that she was concerned about our other friend whom she strongly suspected had a drinking problem.

After running into the second friend at a local Mexican restaurant, that assumption rings true.  My friend's sentences seemed off.  Her eyes looked dilated.  And there were two shot glasses on the table, one empty, one full.  Her dining companion was her 20-year-old daughter.  Unless she's buying shots for her underage daughter, my suspicion is that she does in fact have a drinking problem.

Should I invite her for coffee and tell her that I'm worried about her?  Should my first friend and I talk to her together?  Should I talk to her daughter whom I watched grow up and who is a close friend of my daughter?

My timidity stems from a prior intervention that several female friends and I tried with another friend whose husband was physically abusing her.  We tried to convince her to leave him.  Instead she left us.  They eventually divorced but the rifts between the female friends still exist.

Is speaking up the best option?

[Title taken from this.]


  1. My guess is that speaking up will not go well.

  2. I am one who drank too much, and I stopped drinking almost thirty years ago. I think that it is easier to quit an addiction if one doesn't have to also admit that one's friends were right all along. If you only 'suspect' the friend drinks too much, say nothing. If her drinking causes you difficulty - if you actually fail to invite her to things or otherwise behave differently toward her because of the drinking, then you might speak to the daughter and ask about the situation. If you do this, do it only ONCE - and if the daughter seems receptive, you might ask if she thinks there is anything you can do to help. An intervention, as I understand it, is conducted by ALL the important people in the addicted one's life acting together. These usually happen when the loved ones are prepared to withdraw from that person's life, or to severely limit interaction, if the addiction continues. It doesn't seem that you see enough of this friend to be the one to speak up to her, based on what you wrote. I think you would be wise to think about the friend you lost by speaking up, and decide if that is an acceptable outcome in this case. If you are at the point where you will be avoiding this woman because of her drinking, then you might say something, since you will be risking losing her friendship in either case. If you are concerned enough to do so, perhaps you can speak with someone from Al-Anon.

  3. I would research it better, first. See if it's a short term thing, or if it's been months. I would talk to her daughter,assuring her nothing would be said to her mother about what she shares. Give her space to defend her mom before really talking. I would not do an intervention without her family. It should truly be up to them, otherwise it's guaranteed to do just like the other...put a rift between you. Don't rush into anything..

  4. go over your last paragraph again... and again...

  5. Tough one. Something to pray about.

  6. As my ole Pappy used to say " You can sympathise with someone, but, you can't live their life for them."

    I'd "butt out" !