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Dean of Student Affairs: Travis Imel
Contact: Jennifer Little
Ely Center 102(202) 250-2385 (videophone)(202) 651-5064 (voice)(202) 651-5572 (fax)
The following are some warning signs of trouble with alcohol or other drugs:
Wondering if you are using too much
Impacting normal functioning and ability to do day-to-day responsibilities
Using alcohol or other drugs to solve problems
Doing things while you are drunk or high that you wouldn't do otherwise
Losing interest in friends, academics, hobbies, athletics or other activities you once enjoyed
Spending more time getting high or thinking about the next possible opportunity to do so
Friends expressing concern over how much you drink or use other drugs
Blackouts (especially when reoccurring)
If you experience any of these signs, you are strongly encouraged to seek
help from the Counseling and Psychological Services, Health and Wellness
Programs, a Coordinator of Residence Education (CRE), a Graduate Assistant
(GA), or seek help from other on- and off-campus resources listed below.
The Effects of Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse on the Community
The majority of Gallaudet students do not engage in high-risk drinking
activities. However, substance abuse by individuals or groups of students
has a profound and negative impact on the entire community, including the
majority of students who do not abuse alcohol or other drugs. Disruptions
to the broader community, which result from substance abuse, include
disturbances to the physical environment, interruptions of study or rest,
physical violence, sexual violence, vandalism, the imposition on others to
care for those who are not able to care for themselves, and an unhealthy
What You Can Do When Someone Else's Drinking or Drug Use Bothers You
It is reasonable to expect that other students respect your shared living
space. If you feel you are not given this respect, it is your right to
address the situation. You may want to consider discussing this with other
people on your floor or off-campus living arrangement if they feel the same
way you do about the situation. If you all agree that the drinker needs to
be directly confronted with his or her problem, mention the problem to your
Resident Advisor (RA), Peer Advisor (PA), GA, or CRE. Request that your
meeting be kept confidential (no one has to know who brought the situation
to Residence Life's attention). The RA, PA, GA, or CRE can then intervene
as appropriate or help you come up with a plan for confronting the student
yourselves. If you live off-campus, get your roommates together and use the
guide for "How to Help a Friend With a Drinking Problem" below. As a last
resort, you can explore the options of moving to a different living
How to Help a Friend with a Drinking Problem
. Go to Health and Wellness Programs (HWP), Counseling and Psychological
Services (CAPS), a CRE, a GA, or someone else you trust. You don't have to
give the name of the person you're concerned about. Explaining your problem
to a third party will help you figure out how to proceed.
Make sure your friend is sober
. When it's time to confront your friend, make sure he or she isn't under
the influence of alcohol. There may never be a perfect time to bring up
such a tough subject, but the one time you don't want to discuss it is
while your friend is under the influence.
. Realize that this is not going to be easy. Before you speak to your
friend, develop a plan for how you'll start helping. Find out about local
A.A. meetings, counseling services offered by Counseling and Psychological
Services and other substance abuse counseling that's available, and offer
to go with your friend to a few meetings.
Keep it personal
. Begin the conversation with your friend by letting him or her know you
care, and that's why you're going to be upfront. Use your own feelings
about the situation - "I am worried about your drinking because of the
behavior I see - instead of, "You really have a problem with alcohol."
Specifically, share the negative effects you've seen alcohol have on the
person (you may want to write them down first), including fights with
friends while drunk, harming others, missing class, memory loss, poor
grades, isolation from family and friends, etc. Your friend may be
defensive, but the specific information will help reinforce your concerns.
. It won't be easy getting your friend to admit they are overusing alcohol.
Remind your friend that while this is a problem that they have to overcome,
there are still many great things that make your friend a valuable human
being (you might want to list these too). It may be necessary to have
several talks with your friend. Don't give up.
Follow through. Ultimately, it must be your friend's choice to get help.
Once that decision is made, show your support: Prove that you meant it when
you said you'd attend A.A. meetings with him/her, or that you'd opt for
hanging out with them instead of going to an off-campus party. For your
part, you need to have patience and remind yourself you're being a true and
Get help for yourself
. It is common for people to feel overwhelmed and discouraged in the
process of helping a friend. Visit the Counseling and Psychological
Services, Health and Wellness Programs, or other people you trust and ask
for help for yourself too.
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