Concerned About a Friend

Are you worried something might be wrong with a friend? Do you think your friend’s alcohol or drug use is becoming an issue? Are they loosing focus on academics, behaving erratically, or becoming withdrawn? As a friend you have the power to help. You can be a supportive resource for them rather than ignore a potential problem or not voicing your concern. Staff in the Office of the Dean of Students are here to help you and provide options to support a friend.

If this is an emergency call the UO Police Department at 9-1-1.

If this is a mental health concern, please contact 541-346-3227 to speak to a therapist.

If you are unsure who to call, please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 541-346-3216

Questions to Consider

What are some questions to consider about my own alcohol use?

Drinking is a problem if it causes trouble in your relationships, in school, in social activities, or in how you think and feel. Consider the following questions:

  1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  4. Have you ever had a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and if you are concerned about your drinking or the drinking of a family member, consider consulting with a counselor or physician to determine whether a problem exists and to plan the best course of action.

How can I tell if a friend needs support around drinking?

Sometimes it's tough to tell, but there are signs you can look for that may indicate your friend could be using alcohol in a risky way:

  • Getting drunk on a regular basis
  • Having frequent hangovers
  • Lying about how much alcohol they are using
  • Believing that alcohol is necessary to have fun
  • Feeling run-down, depressed, or even suicidal
  • Having "blackouts"—forgetting what they did while drinking
  • Having problems at school or getting in trouble with the law

What can you do to help someone who has a drinking problem?

Be a real friend. You might even save a life. Share your concerns with a friend and help connect them with professional resources if it is something they are interested in.