How to Help Another Student

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Warning signs for a student who may have an alcohol problem:

• Coming to class, work, practice, or appointments drunk or high
• Excessive or unexplained sleepiness
• Poor attendance or tardiness
• Frequently missing class
• Excessive energy
• Change in behavior: Easily angered
• Changes in physical appearance
• Frequent illness
• Decreased attention or increased forgetfulness
• Poor judgment and decision-making
• Excessive references to alcohol or drug use in conversation

If you are concerned about a student:

1.  Don’t deny the obvious
-Look for signs (empty bottles, signs of intoxication, erratic behavior)
-Ask rather than ignore

2. Approach the person
-Set aside time
-Have resources available
-If you are angry, calm down before approaching the student

3. Don’t be an enabler
-Don’t cover for them in any way
-You may not be helping, only hurting

4. Ask open-ended questions
-Avoid “Yes” and “No” questions

5. Don’t expect thanks
-The student may not appreciate you asking
-Do not let resistance discourage you from asking

Ways to approach a student:

• Find a way to talk with them privately
• Make a connection with them
• Let them know you are concerned about them, not angry with them
• Ask open ended questions
• Let them know you will not discuss their situation with other students
• Do not promise to keep the information confidential
• Assist them in contact a counselor if they would like