How You Can Help A Friend Who Drinks Too Much In College

How You Can Help A Friend Who Drinks Too Much In College
  • Opening Intro -

    Drinking in college is one of the most common things that students will do.

    It is a social function that allows students to interact with other people their age.

    However, it is important to be able to recognize when a person is drinking too much.


Students who drink every night of the week, who start drinking before the evening, and who drink solely to get drunk are probably drinking too much and too often. Frequently, these are students who already show signs of an addictive personality, such as being impulsive, enjoying excessive attention, and staying in relationships that are bad for them. If you have a friend in this situation, here are a few things that you can do to help.

Talk to your friend

The first course of action should always be talk with the person who you are concerned about. Tell him or her how you value your friendship and that you are concerned about their excessive drinking. Be careful to avoid threatening remarks, such as saying you plan to tell parents or teachers, because you might lose their trust. Stress that the behavior is concerning you because of the effects that it is having on the rest of his or her life.

Show them examples

Thanks to social media, it is usually very easy to pull up pictures and/or videos of people who have drank too much on a night out. Show these to your friend so he can see himself the way that others saw him when he was drinking. It is a good idea to have multiple examples ready so he can see how frequently he is drinking excessively.

Discuss the effects

Ask your friend how many classes he or she has missed because of a hangover. Ask your friend how many classes (if any) he went to when he was still drunk. Once your friend has had a chance to think about these numbers, ask him, gently, what his grades are in these classes. This will help him to realize how his drinking is negatively effecting his education.

Bring in reinforcements

It can be very helpful to have other friends with you when talking to a person about a friend’s drinking problem. Hearing how his or her drinking is affecting multiple people can be very effective. However, be careful not to seem as though you are ganging up on him or her. This could cause them to become aggressive and deny the accusations. Remind him frequently that all of you care about his wellbeing and only want to help him.

Challenge him(er)

Ask your friend if he is willing to go an entire week without drinking, including on the weekend. This will help him to realize how much of his time is usually consumed by drinking. Spend time with him during that week and help him to see what activities he could be doing that do not involve drinking. Once the first week is complete, challenge him to do it again. Repeat this challenge over and over, even if he fails at first, to show him that you believe he can be successful.

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While taking these steps can be effective, some people may truly be struggling with dangerous addictions. If they have an addictive personality, they can quickly become dependent on substances like alcohol. If they are addicted to alcohol, it’s important that you seek professional help for your friend. This can save their life and help them overcome dangerous addictions.


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Categories: College Living