Being mindful about drinking can also mean promoting safer drinking for those around you. Choosing to drink less or not to drink is a personal decision, and we can support friends, family, colleagues, and community members by creating safe and supportive environments for those decisions.
Explore some of the ways you can support people who are drinking less or not drinking.
- Do use destigmatizing, person-first language: for example, saying “person with a substance use disorder” instead of “addict.” The words we use matter and can make a big difference in letting someone know we’re there to support them. Check out this primer on language, stigma, and substance use by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA).
- Don’t ask questions if someone isn’t drinking. Someone might not want to share why they’re choosing not to drink. We can support by not questioning their decision, and by listening if they do choose to share with us. Learn more about why it’s not a good idea to press someone on their decision not to drink.
- Do have non-alcoholic beverage options when you host an event. This can help people who are drinking less feel more included, and you can support safer and reduced drinking for all. Explore some ways you can host a mindful drinking event.
- Don’t push someone to drink more, or at all. If someone says no, respect their decision and leave it at that. Learn more about peer pressure and alcohol.
- Do suggest activities that don’t involve alcohol, and do still invite your friends to events even if alcohol might be present: let them decide for themselves and communicate if they are comfortable around alcohol or if they’d like to avoid it entirely. Read more about supporting friends who are drinking less or not drinking.
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