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HURRICANE HEALTHWATCH: Wild weekends lead to Monday morning hangovers

Dear Hurricane,

I have a friend who I’m quite concerned about regarding her health, grades and our friendship. She was always a partier, but her drinking seemed under control. However, this semester she’s drinking more than ever. She goes out every weekend and gets wasted. She used to do this only on Friday and Saturday nights, but she’s now drinking heavily on Sundays. Some weekends she is so sick, I have to give up going out or studying because I feel badly leaving her and not helping her when she’s sick.
Since she started drinking on Sundays, my Monday mornings are a huge hassle. It takes so much to wake her up and get her going because she always has a hangover. When we get to class, she sleeps through the entire hour, so I always let her copy my lecture notes later on when she is sober.
Lately, I haven’t made such an effort to wake her up because I am tired of being her babysitter. I have tried talking to her about heavy drinking habits, but she doesn’t listen. Her test scores are not as high as they were as they were last year, and our friendship is suffering. I’m really worried about her and I want to help her. What should I do?

Sincerely,
Tired of Babysitting

Dear Tired of Babysitting,

I’m glad to see you are seriously concerned about your friend. It’s sad to see friends making mistakes, especially when their classes and relationships are affected. Many people are afraid to say anything to friends for fear that they may get them in trouble. The truth is you can help your friends without getting them in trouble. You can even help without them knowing your involvement.
I would suggest you contact your RA. RAs receive special training to refer students to campus resources. An RA also may involve an RC. RCs do more than just discipline students. They are educated to help students through counseling and referrals. If you are not living in the residential colleges, consider speaking with a University administrator. Many are knowledgeable in campus and community resources. You can also arrange anonymous referrals for your friend to visit Pier 21 or the Counseling Center. This way, your friend will receive help without knowing who requested it.
I hope this situation turns out to be a success and, in the end, you might even want to reveal to her that you were the anonymous individual who requested the referral. She will probably thank you.

Sincerely,
Kellie Jackson

Kellie Jackson is a freshman majoring in broadcasting and theatre and works as a peer educator at Pier 21.

To submit questions or concerns to Hurricane Health Watch or to comment on previous entries, contact um_newspaper@yahoo.com.

November 7, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.