How can you help a friend who is engaging in irresponsible/illegal use?
- Be honest and explain how alcohol/other drugs may be negatively impacting your relationship with that person.
- Point out specific behaviors. It is harder to argue against specific behaviors you’ve seen as opposed to your opinion.
- Give a list of things your friend might try. This is frequently received better than giving only one option.
- It is important to remember that change is part of a process. Try to help your friend identify reasons why doing something different might produce better outcomes. Avoid giving advice. People typically respond better when they have several options and can choose one on their own.
- For example: “You are a good friend, but lately you’ve been starting fights when you’re drunk. I’m not telling you what to do, but we’re here to help. You might also consider going to the Counseling Center for help.”
What can you do when you suspect that a peer has alcohol poisoning?
What is Alcohol Poisoning?
- As you drink, alcohol depresses deeper and deeper parts of your brain. Blood alcohol poisoning occurs when alcohol depresses the brain stem, causing vital functions (e.g., breathing) to stop.
- It may occur when someone ingests large quantities of alcohol, particularly over a short period of time.
- Symptoms include slurred/incoherent speech, semiconscious or unconscious state, vomiting, cold, bluish or pale skin tones, and slowed or irregular breathing.
How to help a friend
- Call Public Safety (x4444). State that your friend is in need of immediate medical attention under the GOOD SAMARITAN POLICY. Your friend will receive medical assistance and neither of you will face disciplinary action. (OR call 911.)
What is the Good Samaritan Policy at Lafayette College?
The Good Samaritan Policy exists to ensure the health and welfare of students and to make sure that students do not have to handle these situations alone.
Neither those reporting incidents nor those needing help will be subject to formal disciplinary action; there is no deterrant to asking for help.
Where can you go to talk about questions and concerns regarding yours or someone else's use?
It is important for students to recognize that there are safe spaces on campus to talk about personal alcohol and drug use and/or the use of a peer or loved one.
These options include:
Students, faculty, and staff also have the option of utilizing the Student of Concern Reporting Form, which can be filled out anonymously.
What counts as a standard drink?
Many people are surprised to learn what counts as a drink.
Check out this website to:
- Learn more about standard drinks
- Understand the ‘strength’ of a drink
- Assess your personal drinking patterns
- Calculate how much alcohol is really in your drink. You can also calculate calories per drink and cost to you per week, month, or year.
Which is safer, alcohol or marijuana?
The direct impact of any drug, whether its marijuana or alcohol, is dependent on the factors of how it’s used, who’s using it, how much, and under what circumstances. People who use marijuana or alcohol with the intention of getting high or intoxicated are more likely to experience the negative consequences of these drugs. The following is a list of short and long-term consequences which can occur.
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Academic, relationship, or work problems
- Liver disease
- Heart Disease
- Physical Dependency
- Memory loss
- Problems thinking clearly
- Academic, relationship or work problems
- Smoking-related health problems
- Throat/Lung Cancer
Marijuana and alcohol both prove to significantly reduce reaction ability and motor coordination, skills that are needed to participate in everyday activities (i.e. driving, walking, and going to class). Generally, being intoxicated or high can compromise judgment and lead to risky decisions that you may not consider when sober.
*These facts were taken from American University’s AOD page.
Where can you find support for recovery?
If you are interested in maintaining sobriety, there are resources both on and off campus to support you.
- Visit with the Counseling Center, Health Center, or Student Wellness and Support Coordinator.
- Students looking to maintain a substance-free lifestyle can find a variety of campus events and activities that will support this choice.
- Look into local AA or NA meetings.
- Off-campus treatment options include: