Helping a Friend With a Drinking Problem
Be informed. It is a good idea to have general knowledge about some of the reasons people drink alcohol to excess and ways to manage alcohol consumption and drink at a low level of risk. By taking this approach, you will be able to stick to the facts when talking with your friend. For specific information about alcohol and its effects, check out this Partnership for a Drug Free America Fact Sheet.
Discuss alcohol issues openly. Letting the person you are concerned about know that you are open to listening to them without being judgmental can facilitate an open discussion. An open dialogue may encourage them to discuss their alcohol use with you. If they know you are open-minded about the issue and have thought about your own use, they may feel more comfortable discussing their alcohol use with you.
What to do if someone says they have a problem. Acknowledging a problem with alcohol consumption is a big step for anyone. If someone has come to you admitting they have a problem, you may be able to assist them by finding out what help is available in your local area. Your local doctor, school or campus counselor, hospital, community health center, or youth worker are people who may be able to help.
Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at ReachOut.com, a website that helps teens get through tough times.
For more information: National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Routing Service, (1-800-662-4357) for alcohol and drug information/treatment referral assistance.