My Answer: Seek help to deal with drinking problems

Q: I've never admitted this to anyone, but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm drinking too much. It's not like I'm drunk very often (I'm not), but I need a few drinks to get through the day and a few more to calm down at night. Do you think I'm in danger of becoming an alcoholic? — D.F.

A: Yes I do, because alcohol seems to have become an essential part of your life. In my understanding, alcoholism isn't just a question of quantity (how much you consume), but also of quality (how much you depend on it to keep you going).

You've taken the first step by admitting you may have a problem — and that's an important step, because many alcoholics refuse to face their problem until it's almost destroyed them. Don't let this happen to you. Almost certainly your problem will only get worse if you don't deal with it now. The Bible warns, "Who has woe? Who has sorrow?... Those who linger over wine.... In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper" (Proverbs 23:29,30,32).

What should you do? First, seek out a treatment program in your community. Your pastor or doctor probably can advise you about your options, and you shouldn't be embarrassed to seek their help. And ask trusted family members to stand with you.

In addition, I urge you to turn to God and seek his help. God loves you, and Christ wants to help you and give you the inner peace you seek. Alcohol can never give it to you — but Christ can, and he will as you turn in repentance and faith to him and learn to commit your problems to him.


Q: Most of my life, I've thought it would be exciting to live in a big city, and when I graduated from college last year I took a job in one. It pays well and all that, but I've never been so lonely. Did I make a mistake? — J.K.

A: You've discovered what countless people before you have realized: A city can be a very lonely place. I think of the paralyzed man in Jerusalem who could find no one in that large city to help him — until Jesus came along and healed him (see John 5:1-9).

I don't know if you made a mistake moving where you did, but God knows your situation and wants to help you overcome it. What can you do? First, seek out a church where you can meet others your age and begin to establish some lasting friendships. This isn't the only reason for going to church, of course; God wants you to get to know him, and one way to do that is through a church where Christ is preached and followed. But God also can bring you into contact with others through a church, including some people who may be just as lonely as you are.

An active church also may offer opportunities for you to participate in community service projects or other programs. Volunteering for a service project not only will bring you into contact with others, but will also assist those in need. The Bible says, "Do not forget to do good and to share with others" (Hebrews 13:16).

On the other hand, don't seek to overcome your loneliness in wrong ways or in wrong places. Instead, seek God's will in all things. Above all, put Christ at the center of your life. God loves you and he knows what is best for you.

(Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn., 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit

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