It’s been said that the behavior of every problem drinker affects at least eight other people in their lives. Many students are affected by roommates or friends drinking, even if they themselves don’t drink. Students may end up losing sleep or study time because a drunk person disturbed them. Students also report having to clean up after a drunk roommate.
If you are concerned about someone else’s drinking, talk to someone you trust. There are many services available to assist you in this matter. The Office of Substance Awareness often works with students concerned about others’ drinking. Confront your friend, when he or she is sober, about their drinking. Express yourself using “I” statements to let your friend know how their drinking affects you only. If you are willing to help, keep it realistic. Don’t offer more of yourself than you can handle or may not be able to commit to in the long run. Make sure you say what you mean. Expect your friend to get angry and be in denial.
Change is hard for people to consider and can be very scary. Chances are, later, they may thank you for taking the time to care. If you have been making excuses for them, STOP. This only helps the user to continue when consequences aren’t felt. It is not healthy for the drinker or you.
- “Letter from an Alcoholic”
- Al Anon — If you are concerned about someone else’s alcohol use
- Nar Anon — If you are concerned about someone else’s substance abuse
- Parents of Drug Addicted Children — If you are concerned about your child’s substance use.
- Phoenix House — Information on alcohol and drugs, addiction, and treatment
- Monmouth University Good Samaritan Practice: — Call for help, save a life
- As part of the NJ Overdose Protection Act, trainings and free Narcan kits are available for family members and loved ones of opiate abusers. Additional information and a listings of area meetings are available at the NJ Department of Health.