Ways to Help
When concerned about a friend and considering discussing these concerns about alcohol or other drug use, please keep the following in mind:
- Watch for changes in the following:
- Drinking/drugging patterns (increase in quantity and/or frequency)
- Consequences from drinking/drugging (increase)
- Fights with friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, or strangers
- Poor scholastic performance
- Loss of energy
- Financial troubles
- Health concerns
Talk with your friend about what you see, expressing your concern.
- Be specific, giving examples of what you have seen that is causing concern.
- Focus on the observable behavior and not the person.
- If others who care see the same things, involve them in the discussions.
- Be willing to refer them for help; know your resources.
- Support and encourage sober, more responsible behaviors.
- Get any support you may need.
Faculty and Staff
Warning Signs of Substance Abuse
If you think a student might have a substance abuse problem there may be some behaviors or symptoms that are easily observable and could indicate the presence of a problem. The following signs and symptoms might indicate that someone has or is at risk for having a problem with drugs or alcohol:
- You have heard reports or the student informs you that they are abusing substances.
- The student has been involved in disciplinary actions as a result of alcohol or drug violations.
- The student's grades have suffered.
- Missing classes or appointments.
- You notice the student is having difficulty with peers.
- Emotional outbursts or changes in mood.
- Falling asleep in class.
- Noticeable change in appearance, such as a significant shift in weight or poor hygiene.
Guidelines for Intervention
- Talk to a student in a private space.
- Express concern. Be as specific as possible in stating your observations and the reasons for concern.
- Be direct. It communicates respect and caring for the individual.
- Don't rush. Except in emergencies, the student should feel free to accept, consider, or refuse the referral.
- Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
- If the student resists help and you remain uncomfortable with the situation, contact the Counseling Center to discuss your concerns with a counselor.
- If the student is open to referrals, you can provide them with contact information for the Counseling Center: 215.895.1415 or email@example.com.
Parents and Families
Please see the Parent and Family Information tab for more helpful information.