How to Deal with Drunk People
Whether you’re in recovery from addiction, not drinking for the night, or just slightly buzzed, dealing with a drunk person can really be difficult. To deal with drunk people, you may need to meet them with firm boundaries, incredible compassion and patience, or some additional help. Here are sseven ways you can deal with a drunk person in your life.
1. Discourage More Drinking
First, don’t encourage the person to keep drinking. If the person is a mean drunk, dangerously intoxicated, or just too drunk for comfort, drinking more is only going to make it worse. Alcohol can cause sleepiness after the initial rush wears off, so let the chemicals do their thing. By allowing or encouraging the individual to continue drinking, you may make matters worse or even put the person in danger.
You can’t necessarily force someone to stop drinking, and you don’t want to start an argument. However, you can kindly suggest that the person drink some water or something else. Don’t continue to buy the person drinks or drink with them. Instead, try to encourage them to slow down or mellow out.
When somebody is drunk near you, you need to make sure to keep yourself safe. This may mean stepping away or setting firm boundaries when we need to. Some people cause harm when they’re drinking. This may be because they’re a mean drunk or maybe just lacking solid judgement. Perhaps they’ll address this in their 4th step inventory, and make amends down the road. What you can do to help the situation is keep yourself safe and not put yourself in any danger.
Don’t get in a car with a drunk driver, don’t be too vulnerable, and remember that drunk people often show poor judgement. Even if you know the person really well or trust them, alcohol can cause severely impaired decision-making and judgement. Care for the person, but keep a safe distance and make sure your needs are met.
3. Don’t Use Too Much Force
Sometimes, when dealing with someone who doesn’t want help, we may find ourselves frustrated or wanting to force the person to do something. However, using force often causes more problems than it’s worth. Instead of trying to force someone to do something or go somewhere, be gentle and persistent. You can’t control anyone but yourself, and controlling a drunk friend is sometimes impossible.
4. Know When to Step Away
Sometimes, we need to just step away. We don’t want to leave the person in any danger, but we need to know when to give it a rest for the day/evening. You can’t cure or fix every single person or situation. If your presence just seems to be making the situation worse, you may need to step away. Again, you don’t want to just leave someone hanging or hurt them, but you do need to know when you’re no longer being helpful. Sometimes we hang on too long and try to help in vain, so know when it’s time to step away and maybe leave the person with someone else.
5. Encourage Sleep
You don’t want somebody who is suffering from alcohol poisoning, which may be more common with polysubstance abuse. However, if somebody is mildly drunk, you can encourage sleep. Keep the person away from drinking more, having caffeine, or any other stimulants which may keep them awake. Instead, try to encourage them to head toward home or a safe place, get to bed, and get some rest. A good night’s sleep can do wonders for intoxication!
6. Don’t Engage in Drunk Antics
Sometimes, drunk people can push our buttons super well. They exercise poor judgement and are impulsive, and may say or do something that is extremely frustrating or even mean. It’s important to instigate a fight or argument when possible. Your drunk friend may not want to do what you’re suggesting or be exceptionally defiant, but try your best not to start something with them. If they’re adamant, know when to quit. You can be firm, or even stern, but don’t engage in the drunk antics that sometimes come along with dealing with drunk people.
7. Find Help When Needed
Finally, reach out for help when it is right. If the person is showing signs of alcohol poisoning, get them to a doctor or hospital. If the person needs help with alcoholism, find a drug rehab. You don’t have to try to fix it alone. Don’t be afraid to call a professional, get the person some medical help, or reach out to friends or family.