Friend of Addict

I would like to know how to tell if an addict is starting to drink. Lately, my friend has been acting different. He is being more private and won't let me clean his room or truck, which he has never had a problem with it before.

A couple months ago he crossed his own boundary. He had sexual relations with a business associate. He became very depressed around this time. Since then, it seems he has made it through his depression, but then a month later he did it again. He decided to make healthy changes, but I've noticed the past couple of month he has grown a beer belly. At least that's what it looks like. I joined his gym and we work out all the time but his stomach remains the same.

Around a month ago, I found a cap to a beer bottle. He claimed it wasn't his and that it probably belonged to his roommate. He immediately became defensive asking if I really thought he would risk his sobriety and said if he was going to give up his sobriety, it wouldn't be with beer.

A week later, I found two bags that had wrappers of a bud light 3pk between his mattresses. I became very upset and told him how scared I was for him. He told me the beer was not his. He had an old friend over that he bought the beer for. A few days later, I found another 3pk beer wrapper in a black bag. When I brought it to his attention again, he told me he was hiding it from me because he was embarrassed to tell me his friend had stayed in my trailer and had used needles in there. When I looked in the trailer it didn't look like anyone had stayed in there.

Today, I found another bag and wrapper shoved behind a drawer. I went to the recycling and found a dozen cans and around 5 32oz. bud lights.

I want to believe him, but my gut feeling is
making me very uncomfortable. Are my feeling legit? Should I talk to his sponsor? Should I wait and try to catch him in the act? Please help me!

Thank you,
Very concerned friend

Thank you for writing in.
So, of course there is no way for me to say for sure whether your friend is drinking again or not. Does it sound like he is? To me, yes it does. But - this doesn't mean that he is. All I can say is that those behaviors are ones that I have seen (in myself and others) when people go back to using or drinking.

It is very possible that he is not drinking - perhaps he is telling the truth about his friends and etc. But the only real way you are going to find out is if you see him drinking, or if you talk to him and he is willing to confide in you.

As for talking to his sponsor - I'm not sure I have an answer for that one. On one hand, it's his recovery, and if he doesn't want to stay sober he isn't going to stay sober. Some people would view this as some sort f invasion of privacy and interference with their sobriety, especially if they haven't started drinking again.

On the other hand - you sound very concerned and I think it would be wrong for me to tell you to do nothing. If you are that worried and you think speaking to his sponsor or maybe someone else that he is close to might help, then that's a decision you will need to make.

I think ultimately you should go with your gut and do what you think is right. Regardless of the outcome, you know you are coming from a good place and you are doing whatever you can to try to help your friend. This may mean talking to him, or his sponsor, or doing nothing.

I wish I could give you a more concrete answer.. Hope I could help a little.


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