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Red noses, when it is not Christmas

answered 06:09 PM EST, Mon October 08, 2012
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anonymous anonymous
If someone has a lot of broken blood vessels in their nose and their nose is all red (an older person) does this mean that they are still drinking. I am trying to figure out if a friend of mine is an ex alcoholic like he says or if he maybe is still drinking in secret (I have other reasons to be suspicious.)

Jill Edwards Says...

I must say that if I saw someone with a lot of broken blood vessels in their nose and their nose is all red, I would think that this person was a drinker. The blood vessels break because the blood gets very thin when people drink a lot.

But as you said, it does not mean they are still drinking. However it is true that people with a drinking problem often feel very ashamed because they cannot control how much they drink and they do try to hide it. You may want to think about whether your friend would appreciate your concern, if you asked him and whether he could tell you the truth. That would be something only you could judge, but do not be surprised if he denies drinking, that is quite common. If there are other signs of ill health, perhaps you could talk about those, but try to be sympathetic, rather than taking on a sort of a witch hunt to see what the truth is. Your friend is in a very difficult place.

My best wishes to you and to your friend.

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Page last updated Oct 09, 2012

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