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Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network
When and How to Refer Someone Who Needs Help

When to Refer

  • Someone tells you that they think they might have a drinking and/or drug problem.
  • Someone tells you that they have been arrested or written up for an alcohol or drug-related incident.
  • You notice that someone misses early morning or evening classes because of partying or the aftermath of partying.
  • You notice that someone's mood changes drastically and there is evidence that they have been drinking or using other drugs.

Most people do not drink or use other drugs to this point, but it is important to be aware that some people will. Be prepared to take appropriate action.

How to Refer

  • Contact the Kelly Center and ask to speak with or make an appointment with the Coordinator of the Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network to discuss your concerns.
  • E-mail the Coordinator of the Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network ( and discuss your concerns.

Important Things to Remember When Confronting Someone About Alcohol or Other Drug Use

  • Don't do it while the person is drunk/high--it gives them excuses and they might not remember.
  • Make them feel comfortable by talking in private about your concerns in a direct, straightforward manner.
  • Start by saying something like: "I'm going to tell you this because I'm worried (concerned, alarmed, etc.) about you." These words might just make the difference in the person's life.
  • Avoid criticizing or sounding judgmental.
  • Offer support in beginning the process--let them call or email the Kelly Center from your phone/computer. Make an offer to come with them to their appointment.
  • Remind the person that all Kelly Center counseling services are free and confidential (see our Client Rights and Responsibilities for additional information on confidentiality).
  • In the near future, ask the person whether or not they followed through.
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