DEAR ABBY: I have a very dear friend who is an alcoholic. "Elsa" went through the 12-step program a few years ago and has been dry since her recovery began. We rarely see each other, but we talk on the phone regularly.
In the last few months, when we chat I have the uncomfortable feeling that Elsa is drinking again. I have not said anything to her (or anyone else) because there is no way I can be sure.
Several weeks ago, a mutual friend asked me if I thought Elsa might be drinking. When I asked why, she told me she, too, had noticed Elsa slurring her words, repeating herself, and becoming very argumentative.
I know I should approach my friend with my suspicions, but I cannot seem to find the words. We have been friends since we were very young, and I'm afraid I will lose her friendship if I confront her.
Should I confront her? If so, please help me find a tactful way to do it. -- A FRIEND WHO CARES
DEAR FRIEND: Be completely honest with your friend. Tell her that you love her, that you are concerned that she has resumed her drinking, and urge her to get back on the program. She needs to hear this from someone she knows is a caring friend.