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Colleague drinking

answered 09:10 AM EST, Fri December 07, 2012
anonymous anonymous
I am a high school teacher. I witnessed one of my colleagues drinking at lunch hour. He did not see me witness him and he was trying to be very secretive about it. He is a sweet older man but it does not surprise me to learn that he has an alcohol problem. I and others have had suspicions for a while. If I reported him he would obviously get fired and I do not wish that for him but I think I have to do something now that I have seen what I have seen. I am thinking about gathering a few other colleagues who know him well to sit down with him, without notifying administration, to ask him to get some help so we don’t have to report what we now know. The thing I am uncertain about is what we should ask him to do? Is rehab what is necessary in this situation? He is unmarried and I do not know his extended family situation.

Donna Hunter Says...

Donna Hunter D. Hunter

It is wonderful that you would think of trying to help him to prevent a job loss. However, you are likely putting yourself at risk doing this.

That being said you are doing a couple of things when you meet with him. you are confronting his behavior and setting limits and boundaries.

By confronting him you are letting him know your suspicions and what you witnessed. You are also letting him know you are doing this intervention because you care about him.

By setting limits you are letting him know what you expect; i.e. getting help and identifying a time limit. You will need to let him know that should he not follow through that he will be reported. He needs to know that you will follow through.

Finding help might not be that hard. Your school district likely has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) That program will provide a limited number of therapy sessions for evaluation and referral. When accessing the EAP you can go to HR and ask how to get into contact with the program. No one at HR needs to know why you want the information. Nothing from those sessions are reported back to the school. That is a good place to start to find a therapist who specializes in addiction. AA is also tremendously helpful. Perhaps one of your colleagues is familiar with the program. you can also find AA online and get a list of meetings in your area.

Good Luck!

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Page last updated Dec 11, 2012

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