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College partying or alcoholic excess? A worried roomie speaks up

Dear V,

I think that my roommate is an alcoholic, and I’m kind of worried about her. She gets wasted a few nights a week and usually doesn’t make it to class. Whenever she drinks, she turns into a completely different person, not just an exaggerated version of herself. She does things that she says she would never do, and half the time she blacks out and doesn’t remember what she did when she wakes up. What should I do?

Living with an alchie

Dear Reader,

OK, so basically you’re kind of weirded out by your addict of a friend’s wack job behavior. Maybe it’s time to speak up and say something to her, but first of all, back up and educate yourself about the hazards of binge drinking.

Binge drinking-especially with young, impressionable college students-has a lot to do with the false perception that “if everyone else is drinking to excess, then I must too”-thus, an evil alcoholic self-fulfilling prophecy ensues. Maybe your friend thinks that drinking makes her cooler, that conforming to the false norm that everyone around her is an alcoholic will make people like her drunk personality more- she may even like herself better when she’s drunk. Her addictive behavior could be the result of emotions gone haywire. Yet, I’m sure that she doesn’t realize that her behavior is downright annoying to those around her, that she is more likely to engage in riskier behaviors when drunk, or that she has the potential to fatally harm her organs. Furthermore, being that she might have an addiction to alcohol and not just one or two random wasted nights, the chances of her carrying her addiction with her throughout her life are huge! What does society think about 35-year-old women and men who are constantly getting drunk? Losers!

So, if you think that your roomie has a problem, you undoubtedly have to step into the role of the bothersome, morally superior friend, but you don’t have to come off in a way that creates tension and makes her feel criticized. Gently ask her what her deal is when she drinks, and why she feels like she always has to drink way too much. Keep her problems in the family-don’t go blabbing her addiction around town (although, by now, I’m sure that many have questioned her behavior) And, if she comes home wasted next time, scoot her tush to the Counseling Center, where she can be professionally evaluated.

Best of Luck,

V.

Dear V,

My ex-boyfriend and I have been broken up for nearly two years (we dated for three), but he still isn’t over me. He calls all the time and thinks that we’re going to get back together sometime. I want to be his friend, but it’s so hard to get him to understand that I don’t want to get back together. How do I get him to see that we just aren’t meant to be? And how do I get him to find someone else?

Stalked

Dear Reader,

Poor ex-boyfriend whose life has been so affected by his love for you! Must be nice to be so creepily adored! Seriously, he’s toxic, and I think that it’s time to go cold turkey on his ass; stop hanging out with him and taking calls from him; just quit the contact in general. Fall off the planet.

Every time that you sympathetically align yourself with his cause to get you back into his life, you make that reality for him just a little bit more real. Stop the good-bye hugs and all of the “cutesy” behaviors around him. More than half of the way you communicate with others is through non-verbal cues -he’s probably reading you wrong (or you’re directing your feelings poorly). So, be a real pal, and stop being his friend for a while. Your tough love will help him see that it’s time to get on with his empty, ex girlfriend worshipping life and find someone new to love.

Best of Luck,

V.

Fact O’ The Day…Women who smoke have, on average, twice as many sex partners as those who don’t…puff.

Please submit all questions, comments or concerns to DearV@hotmail.com or to the Dear V box in the offices of the Hurricane. All submissions are strictly confidential. Dear V. is published on Tuesdays and Fridays, and yes, V. will respond to almost (don’t push it) anything.

February 22, 2005

Reporters

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.