Responding to Students' Alcohol and Drug Abuse
How to Approach a Student about a Potential Alcohol/Substance Abuse Problem (in a non-emergency situation)
- DO NOT bring up the subject when the person is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- DO NOT lecture or badger the student.
- DO NOT try to speculate or explore motives. It can sidetrack you from the main point.
- DO NOT expect a dramatic shift in thinking or behavior right away; this conversation may be the first time the person has thought about this problem.
- DO identify a location and time where you can talk in private without embarrassment or interruptions (typically your faculty office).
- DO express your concern to the student, citing the risk factors you have observed.
- DO list specific problems that have occurred because of this person’s drinking or drug use. Include specific times, places and behaviors.
- DO contact Counseling and Psychological Services (information above)
- DO be supportive and follow up with the student while he or she is getting professional assistance.
Because this may not be an isolated incident, and because a fuller picture of a student emerges when various administrators are alerted and can then pool their information, it is important that you also share the information with one or more of the following:
- Your department chair
- Appropriate class dean
- Counseling Center
- Department of Public Safety
- Dean of students at each campus
Pages in Responding to Students' Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- Responding to Students' Alcohol and Drug Abuse
- A Serious Problem
- Identifying Alcohol/Drug Abuse Does Not Mean Getting the Student into Trouble
- What to do in an EMERGENCY
- What to do in a non-emergency
- Signs of a Possible Substance-Abuse Problem
- How to Approach a Student about a Potential Alcohol/Substance Abuse Problem (in a non-emergency situation)
- For Further Information
- University Alcohol Policy