Dr. Wallace:

About a month ago, my boyfriend and I broke up because of his drug abuse (cocaine and marijuana). I tried to get him to stop using drugs, but he wouldn’t listen to me. Finally, I told him to choose — drugs or me — and he chose drugs. Well, this past month without seeing him has been miserable to say the least. I miss him a lot and spend most of my spare time thinking about him. I’m 19 and so is he.

I am now thinking about calling him and telling him that I am willing to accept him just the way he is — as a drug user. I honestly believe I would be happier playing second fiddle to his drugs and being with him than sitting at home wondering what he’s doing and whom he’s doing it with. What do you think?

— T.R.,

Kansas City, Kan.

T.R.: Playing second fiddle to illegal drugs is a losing proposition! Don’t renege. You absolutely made the right choice, and now you need to keep making it. Don’t sit at home wondering what he’s doing. Start doing things with family and friends. Get involved in community activities or take a course at the local junior college. And by all means, start dating other guys!

Dr. Wallace: I’m 14 and want to learn how to play the piano. My parents will pay for lessons (we have a piano), but my mom said she read in your column that starting piano lessons as a teen was a waste of time and money because it was too late. Did you say this? If so, why is it true?

— Nameless,

Albany, N.Y.

Nameless: Your mother leapt to the wrong conclusion from my column about piano lessons. Taking up a musical instrument is worth doing at any age and will provide the learner with immense satisfaction and pleasure. Learning something new is never a waste of time or money.

What I said in my column was that most concert pianists took up the instrument when they were extremely young — at age 6, 5, or even 4 — when their brains were capable of absorbing the skills required for playing the piano at the concert level and making them second nature.

But there is no reason you can’t take lessons now and become a very accomplished player. You just may have to forgo playing for the New York Symphony!

Dr. Wallace: Why does it take such a short time to become tipsy after consuming three or four alcoholic drinks? Isn’t alcohol digested slowly like any other food? After three mixed drinks in 30 minutes, I’m wasted!

— Nameless,

Newark, N.J.

Nameless: Alcohol is not slowly digested. About 25 percent passes immediately through the walls of the stomach directly into the bloodstream. The balance goes from the stomach to the small intestine and from there it is absorbed into the blood.

I’m always amazed at the huge amounts of money people spend to make themselves tipsy, and eventually drunk. Yet the amount of heartbreak caused by alcohol is so great it can never be measured. Alcohol is a powerful and highly addictive drug that has destroyed far too many lives.

Write to Dr. Wallace at

rwallace@galesburg.net.

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