DEAR AMY: I'm worried about my friend, "Lori." We're both 16. She started drinking at parties when she was 12, and also smokes cigarettes and pot (as I do). If we go out, she normally already has taken a couple of shots of vodka. A few days ago, she told me she downed her breakfast with tequila. Lori also has mentioned her desire to experiment with heroin, cocaine and other hard drugs. I don't know what I can do to help her without seeming like I'm judging her for her choices or being prudish. Scared at 16
DEAR SCARED: It sounds as if your friend has a full-blown alcohol addiction, which, if she started drinking at 12, is not surprising (studies show that the earlier a person starts drinking, the quicker addiction can surface).
You should do everything you can think of to help: Express your concern to her, talk to a counselor at school and share your concerns with her parents and yours, though I wonder where all of your parents are because you seem to be raising yourselves.
You do have to be brave enough not to worry about seeming judgmental.
But your biggest and most important job is to take care of yourself. I hope you will start to apply all of your ample intelligence and good judgment to your own life.
DEAR AMY: Responding to the letter from "Down and Out," who was dating a guy who loved being surrounded by women: So you think a guy who takes a woman on a date for dancing is just a "fun flirt" (as you call him) if he leaves his date sitting alone and dances with other single women? Sounds like he's more of an egoist cad. C'mon, Amy, have a little more respect for women.DK
DEAR DK: The man in question was a flirt when she met him, but now she wanted him to change. And, yes, I will definitely try to have more respect for women. Thank you.