Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention - Concerned Others
What are some things I might want to consider when approaching my student?
- Don't deny the obvious: If there are signs (empty bottles or drug paraphernalia, signs of intoxication, erratic behavior), ask about rather than ignore the signs.
- Approach the person: Set aside time (don't try to squeeze in the conversation), have some resources available but don't insist that they must change, be willing hear them without defending yourself against accusations (you don't have to agree, just listen). If you're angry, wait until you are calm before approaching them.
- Don't be an enabler: Don't cover for them in some way (e.g. loaning money, taking late assignments, covering their schedule, rescuing them from the consequences of their behavior, etc.). Although we feel like we are helping, this frees their time and resource to pursue alcohol or drug use.
- Don't fool yourself that the problem's solution is simple and painless: If your student is using, decreasing or quitting will require major changes (new friends, new forms of recreation, new coping strategies, new sense of self). This takes time and a lot of social support.
- Ask open-ended questions. Avoid questions that are easily answered with a "yes" or "no"
- Don't expect thanks: Your asking clashes with the users denial. They may not appreciate you asking. Don't let their resistance discourage you from asking.
This is a list of sites that will offer even more information about abuse prevention.
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