Talking with those around us about alcohol and other substances can reduce negative health consequences, improve family and work life, and promote overall well-being. One Degree: Shift the Influence empowers each of us to be the influence and help change the lives of those we care about.

Not sure how to begin?

Sometimes we avoid topics because we aren’t sure how to approach them. These conversations matter.

It is possible to have positive, open conversations that will make those you care about feel supported. No need to be an expert, use some of these simple, evidence-based techniques.

Ask open-ended questions

  • Ask about what is going on in their lives
  • Discuss stress or worries they may be facing

Asking questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no is a great way to get people to open up

Listen with empathy

  • Be sure to keep a nonjudgmental tone
  • Make sure they know you are there to listen

When someone feels understood and knows you are listening, it is easier for them to talk openly

Problem-
solve

  • Instead of giving advice, ask questions
  • Help brainstorm ways to make healthy choices

Showing them that you care and want to understand their perspective helps to build trust

Keep the conversation going

You started the conversation, now keep it going. Let them know you are there to listen, support, and problem-solve.

Explore other helpful resources

Resources

Colorado Crisis Services

When you don’t know where to start, start here.
Learn More

Alcohol & Your Health (NIAAA-NIH)

Your drinking habits may be impacting your health.
Learn More

Lower Risk Drink Limits Wallet Card

There are many reasons to drink less.
Learn More

Curb Your Drinking (Harvard Medical School)

Many people may benefit from cutting back on alcohol.
Learn More 

Excessive Alcohol Use (CDC)

Over 90% of excessive drinkers binge drink.
Learn More

What is a hangover? (NIAAA-NIH)

Drinking can lead to painful side effects.
Learn More

Alcohol Use & Your Healthcare Provider (CNN)

“Drinking checkups” at doctor visits are the new normal.
Learn More

Alcohol & Pregnancy (CDC)

Drinking before, during and after pregnancy can have an impact.
Learn More

Women’s Health & Alcohol

Use this app, Women’s Health & Alcohol, to talk with a virtual nurse to learn more about how alcohol impacts women’s physical and mental health. Available on the App Stores. Learn More

Drinking & Breastfeeding (AAP News)

Exposure to alcohol in breast milk linked with children’s reasoning deficits.
Learn More

Responsibility Grows Here

Responsible use is smart use.
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OBH Speak Now! Campaign

Talk with your kids about alcohol and drugs.
Learn More

Colorado Household Medication Take Back Program

Dispose of medications in a safe and responsible manner.
Learn More

Self-Screening Tool Site

Determine how substance use could be affecting the health of you or those you care about.
Learn More

SAMHSA Treatment Locator

Explore treatment centers near you.
Learn More

Health First Colorado

Get connected to the care you need.
Learn More

Peer Health Assistance Program

Programs for healthcare and mental health professionals experiencing substance use, mental health and/or physical health problems.
Learn More

Mothers Connection

Compassionate care for mothers struggling with addiction.
Learn More

Self-Care

There are many ways to take care of ourselves. Practicing mindfulness can help us lead happy, healthy lives.
Learn More at:
headspace.com/
mindful.org/

Parity: What You Need to Know

How you can get your care covered.
Learn More

Paritytrack.org

Information on Parity, presented by the Kennedy Forum.
Learn More

Parity: What to Look For

Recognize violations of insurance rules.
Learn More