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Carefully watch his reaction when you confront him on his drug use

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DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I recently reconnected with an old friend I was quite close to, back when we were kids. I also have a good ongoing relationship with one of his parents. I suspect my old friend may have a problem with hard drug use, and is not making the best lifestyle choices to impact his own life and those in his family. Should I confront my friend, his parent whom I still speak with, or both at the same time, or not at all? What should I say, since at this point I have no proof, just a very strong assumption. -- Unsure, Unicity

Dear Unsure: You need to ask him about the problems he's going through. "I have noticed this and this about you. Are you perhaps using a drug for the pain (depression, stress, sadness?) If he says a quick no, ask about using specific drugs. "Cocaine perhaps?" (Wait for a minute.) "How about prescription drugs like Oxycontin?" Watch his face carefully and pay as much attention to the "ums" and "uhs" and pauses as you do to his words, especially if you think he's lying. Keep the conversation going, so you can gather more information. Don't let him cut you off with one terse word. If that's the world he's living in, you need to know, and you don't want to be part of it. You should mention it to the parent you're close to, and back off the reconnection, as the people he will be seeing to get the drugs are dangerous.

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I'm mad as hell about all the cute young woman in their early 20s who don't seem to think that having a boyfriend is a problem when they're out at the bar chasing single guys like me. Last weekend a hot-looking girl slid her arm around my waist and pressed her body up my side and asked me to dance. She was with a couple of girlfriends and there were no guys in sight attached to them. We danced all night, and when I would take a break and go talk to other people, she would come after me. At the end of the evening I asked her for her phone number and she giggled and said "I have a boyfriend." She got a whole night of my attention, and then she tells me she's not available. Was she trying to make herself feel like she's still attractive? She obviously didn't want me. What's this game called, Still Got It? -- So Frustrated, St. Boniface

Dear Frustrated: In the last few years -- some argue it escalated with Mad Men on television -- women have decided they can play that game, too. They leave their nice-guy boyfriends at home and go out for a night with the girlfriends with everyone understanding anything goes at the nightclub, and they will all keep quiet about it when they leave. That way they get to feel single for a night. When the single guy they're hustling finally asks for their number, or to take them home, they get all giggly and say they have a boyfriend. "But we had a good time, didn't we?" These are women who need a reality check on their relationships, which clearly are 80 per cent solutions. But, the nights out at the bar chasing single men enable them to keep a husband-type guy in the background, and a feeling of stability. I encourage women who do this (you know who you are) to write in and tell us why you do it.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2012 D8

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