- Help Available at the Office
- Presentations Available
- Consultations, Private and Confidential
- How to Intervene with Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help
- Do You Have a Resident Who is Recovering? Or an Adult Child of an Alcoholic?
Help Is Available Through The Office of Wellness Programs & Alcohol Education.
- a walk-in resource room with books, brochures and current files on the latest research and realistic alcohol and drug information
- current statistics on college drinking and drug use
- self help books available on loan basis
- scheduling presentations for residence halls, classrooms or student organizations
- Host Responsibility Training
- support for alcohol-free students, recovering students, or students who are cutting down
- co-sponsorship opportunities . . . with organizations or with special events planned by this office
Although the Office does not provide counseling or therapy, we keep conversations confidential, except in cases defined by law where further assistance is required: suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic behaviors. The Office keeps a list of reliable resources that can help students with issues related to substance abuse.
Interactive, educational presentations are available with a two-week notice. If you desire a custom designed presentation to meet the needs of your residents, then allow three weeks.
Consultations, private and confidential, are available for any student, but may be especially important for RAs to explore issues with their residents or trends in overall hall behavior. Feel free to call (343-4740) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule an appointment. For medical matters, call Student Health at 322-2427; for emergencies call the VUMC Emergency Room at 322-3391.
How to Intervene With Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help
Ways to recognize abuse patterns
Impact on community — other residents come to you asking what they should do to help the person and/or complaining of the person’s behavior (sometimes they won’t tell you it is alcohol-related). For students who are asking what they should do to help, consider sending them to the Office for a private consultation.
If your resident doesn’t seem to be learning from his/her experiences and has repeated negative experiences, s/he may be developing a psychological dependence on alcohol. A referral to the substance abuse therapist in the Psychological and Counseling Center (PCC) would be helpful to explore this possibility.
Personal behaviors — the following list is not meant to be a diagnostic tool; as an RA you need to focus on behavior and not a diagnosis. This list is not comprehensive nor does exhibiting this behavior mean that there is an alcohol problem.
- Exhibits loss of control (Over their behavior when they drink; how much they drink; when they drink; what they drink or drugs they take; loss of control of cravings)
- Experiences memory loss/blackouts (1 or 2 may be from lack of knowledge about hard liquor and shots, but going over 3 is usually very telling! Most Vanderbilt students take pride in their cognitive abilities and are un-nerved by having their brains let them down . . . they value their thinking!!)
- Personality changes from nice to vicious or prude to vamp.
- Drinks to get drunk; can’t conceive of drinking without getting drunk
- Brags about his/her drinking
- Uses alcohol as a crutch — to provide liquid courage; to deal with stress; to socialize
- Drinks at unusual times — while studying or first thing upon awakening
- Talks excessively about alcohol, drinking or procuring alcohol
- Has had run-ins with authority but still hasn’t changed behavior
- Allows drinking to interfere with studies or other valued activities
With observing the above behaviors but not actually catching the resident drinking or drunk, your only recourse may be an intervention. For step-by-step information on how to do an intervention, call for an appointment (343-4740).
Do You Have a Resident Who is Recovering? Or an Adult Child of An Alcoholic?
As an RA, you may not be aware that a resident is recovering or is an adult child of an alcoholic or addict (ACOA). This information would normally come to you from the resident him or herself. Upon telling you, ask the resident how you can be supportive. Explore specifics: Do they need to hang out with you the first few Friday or Saturday nights? Do they need to know about alcohol-free events on campus? Do they need to know of other support services available on campus? Off campus?
Be honest with the resident about your knowledge in these areas. See if the resident would recommend a book or a website that could increase your awareness and understanding. Ask if you can check in on them occasionally without telling others about their situation.
Encourage them to continue or start counseling and self-help programs. Only if you have the time available, offer to go with them to their first counseling session or self-help meeting. Be very clear however, where you can support (give of your time) and where you are not able. Consistency and trustworthiness is vital to any relationship with a recovering person or an adult child of an alcoholic/addict. Do not over-promise!
Vanderbilt Recovery Support (VRS) has a designated space for meeting, studying or just hanging out. Programs and social activities are planned by students and supported by the Dean of Students Offices. Weekly support meetings are held every Tuesday. Contact our office (343-4740) for more information.
- National Association of Campus Activities
- National Association of Student Personnel Administration
- American College Personnel Association
- National Institute on Alcoholism & Alcohol Abuse
- National Institute on Drug Abuse
- Department of Substance Abuse Prevention
- National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACoA)
- National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving – MADD
- National Collegiate Athletics Association – (NCAA)