Binge drinking is the process of drinking large amounts of alcohol in a single sitting, often to the point of inebriation or even “blacking out.” This is obviously bad for the body and mind at the time of the drinking, but if binge drinking becomes a common occurrence, it can also leave lasting effects on both physical and mental health of those who do it regularly.
If you have a friend who has taken their college binge drinking habit into adulthood, helping them move on will be something they thank you for later. If they seem unable to control their drinking, or the frequency with which they drink increases, approach them about it. Whether they agree or not, if you have decided they have a problem, they most likely do… here are some ways you can help them out.
Make It A Sober Conversation
Lots of friends have conversations over a beer or two, but especially when discussing a form of alcoholism, having beer involved makes the conversation lose credibility. If you approach your friend about alcohol when no alcohol is around, they are more likely to listen.
Talk About The “Why?”
With COVID-19, anxiety in teens and young adults is higher than ever, and can lead to misuse of stress relievers, such as alcohol. Determining the reasons for your friend’s excessive drinking make it possible to address the reason for the drinking, rather than just trying to help your friend put the bottle down.
Be Ready For A Constructive Argument
Especially if your friend feels like there is no place to turn other than alcohol, they are likely to have some push back regarding your chat. Don’t be pushy, and understand that any objections or anger almost certainly don’t come from something you did. This will help determine the “why” if an answer was hard to come by when asked straight up.
Have A Course Of Action
No one wants to be given a problem with no solution. If you’re going to tell your friend they have a problem, care enough to share a solution with them as soon as you share the issue. Whether it be something that involves you like alternatives to drinking, or just some tips to help your friend stay sober, whatever you can do to make the problem seem more easily overcome is something that is in your friend’s best interest.
Your friend will most likely need some help along the way, to ensure there is no sort of alcohol relapse, but you can help there, too. Providing your friend with weekly “meetings” (these can easily be disguised as golf outings or D&D parties), gives them something to do instead of drinking, and gives you a chance to monitor activity and let your friend know that you’re really invested in their recovery.
Relapses can happen any time, and do so especially following a traumatic event. Keep up with your buddy’s life events, and always be available to chat or just listen!