This fact sheet does not address the situation of persons who are suffering from both an addiction and mental health issues.
Keep in mind that it’s possible for someone to show signs of intoxication when in fact they have an occasional or temporary physiological health problem.
Also keep in mind that being drunk does not mean someone is an alcoholic, and being an alcoholic does not mean being drunk.
|THE SIGNS||WHAT TO DO||WHAT NOT TO DO|
A FEW VISIBLE SIGNS:
Inability to remain standing or to sit up straight
An overwhelming desire to lie down or roll on the floor
Inability to walk straight
Abnormal behaviour; noisy or embarrassing, violent reactions
Bloodshot eyes, feeling extreme differences in temperature, etc.
Stay calm and be reassuring at all times.
Each individual’s situation must be evaluated according to the context and the circumstances, but the main point is that you must be prepared to take care of the person until they are out of danger.
Above all, don’t make them feel guilty, and stick to the facts. For example, you can say: “ I think it would be best if we rescheduled our meeting to a later date, and anyways we can’t work in these conditions, I think you have drunk too much and it creates a problem for me…”
The approach you use must not intimidate or upset them, but it is important to be straightforward.
You must help them by being yourself and not trying to be a substitute for professional help: for example, avoid giving advice, and instead ask for help from third parties.
Suggest that it’s time to go home and call a taxi
Never let anyone who is intoxicated get behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Try to reason with them; they are not in a state where they are able to listen.
Say something that could provoke or make them angry.
Moralizing only serves to make them stubborn and resistant.
Look for reasons that push them to consume drugs or alcohol: this probably isn’t your job, and it’s not the right time, either.
If the person is aggressive or poses a danger to him or herself or anyone around them, you must contact emergency services.
CIUSSS de l'Estrie - CHUS, RLS du Haut-Saint-François
Emergency Health Line
Addictions Resources in Estrie (Drugs-Alcohol-Gambling)
Quebec Police, Haut-Saint-François MRC Station, General Information Line