Does Your Friend Need Help?
Step 1: Prepare
Get educated about the serious risks and consequences of binge drinking. Review books and websites on the topic for more information. Think carefully about your concerns and what you want to say. Be prepared to offer specific examples of how his/her drinking has affected you or your family, the person’s career, or health. Practice the conversation in advance or write your points down on paper.
Step 2: Have The Conversation
Now here’s the hard part. Sometimes it helps to have the conversation shortly after an alcohol-related problem has occurred, such as an argument or trouble at work.
Give an example of when this person has become That Guy or That Girl. Be supportive. Tell the person what you want him/her to do, whether it’s cutting down on drinking or entering a treatment program. Be loving and kind. Stay calm and remain supportive even if he/she gets defensive.
Step 3: Get Support
If appropriate, you may want to involve trusted friends or other family members. You can also consult with your health care provider, a professional counselor, chaplain or a support group to gather information and advice.
Step 4: Seek Help
It’s important for the person to see a health care provider or other professional to evaluate the seriousness of the problem. In some cases, he/she may just need to cut back on drinking. In others, counseling or treatment may be needed. For more information on finding a treatment center near you, review these resources.