Supporting Someone You Know

If one of your friends or loved ones is having trouble with alcohol, your support can make a difference. Reaching out to a peer who is struggling is difficult, but it shows that you care. Your support may be just what they need to make a change.

  1. Know what to look for. If someone you know is drinking too much too often or appears unable to stop once they start, it may be time to talk to them about it. It is easy to spot when someone is out of control after drinking too much, for example they might be stumbling around or spilling their drink. But it may not always be obvious that someone overdid it. For example, even if they seem to be “holding their liquor” they still might be drinking unsafe amounts. Learn what an unsafe amount of alcohol looks like.
  2. Approach with compassion. Think carefully about your friend and the best way to approach them, either alone or as a group of concerned buddies. Read through some of the dos and don’ts of talking to someone about an alcohol use issue. It may be very difficult for them to hear what you have to say, so make sure they know that it comes from a place of love and support.
  3. Have resources ready. This website and its resources are here to support you, and your friend. You can teach them what responsible drinking looks like or talk about how they can turn down booze the next time it’s offered. You can also direct them to information about the signs of alcohol misuse, what their drinking could end up costing them and what resources are available for their specific Service branch. If you or your friend are in immediate danger, get help right away.

Help your friend own their limits. Standing by and watching your friend get in trouble or even hurt themselves and others around them is not an option. Show your friend you’ve got their six and step in when they need you most.