This material is from the teaching guide
for the video Drugs & Alcohol – Part 2
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE

In the current national push to “just say no” to drugs and alcohol, very little is being said about what to do when someone we care about has “just said yes.” During his national tour of high schools, Mike Pritchard found that many of the kids were having trouble coping with friends and relatives who are abusing drugs and alcohol.

In this program, Pritchard and high school students in Albuquerque; Atlanta; Madison, Wisconsin; and Fremont, California, examine how chemical abuse damages relation-ships, what you can and cannot do about it, and how to respond when a chemically dependent person asks you for help. It is a useful and enlightening look at what to do when someone you care about is hooked.


  1. To show how drug and alcohol abuse affects friends and family members of the user.
  2. To point out ways that friends and family members sometimes respond which are either ineffective or which contribute to the problem.
  3. To reveal some ways of responding or intervening thato ften do work.
  4. To clarify what power friends and family members do and do not have in the situation.
  5. To show them they can make a difference and informt hem about where they can go for help.

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video Drugs & Alcohol – Part 2
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE



1. How can you tell if someone you care about is hooked on drugs or alcohol?

2. Have any of you had a friendship fall apart because of drugs or alcohol? How did drugs or alcohol affect the relationship?

3. What effects can a person’s abuse of alcohol or drugs have on friends or family?

4. Do you have the right to intervene when someone you care about is heavily involved with alcohol or drugs and doesn’t seem to want anyone to interfere?

5. Should you end a friendship with someone just because he or she develops an alcohol or drug problem?

6. If you think a friend is becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, what can you do about it? Where can you get help? Should you tell that friend’s parents? How do you expect your friend might react to your attempted intervention? How can you know whether you’re doing the right thing?

7. Have you ever tried to talk to a friend or family member about his/her drug or alcohol use? How did they respond?

8. One boy in the video said it made a big difference when his mother told him how his drug use was hurting her, instead of how it was hurting him. Why would that make a difference?

9. Sometimes, without realizing it, people do things that make it easy for an addicted person to keep using. Can you think of any?

TIPS: Rescuing the addict from the consequences of his drug use, e.g., covering for the person, providing an alibi, lending money. Assuming responsibility for the addict’s behavior, e.g., “If I did this or that better he wouldn’t have to drink.” Accepting the addict’s excuses, e.g., “If my parents weren’t so demanding, I wouldn’t have to use cocaine.” Making allowances for the addict’s behavior, e.g., “I’d never put up with your lying if you weren’t an alcoholic.”

10. Have any of you been effective in helping a friend with an alcohol or drug problem? What did you do? What was the outcome?

11. One boy talked about feeling responsible for his father’s drinking, e.g., if he were a better son and took out the garbage more often, his dad wouldn’t drink. Do you think he caused his dad’s drinking? Why do you think he felt responsible? If a friend of yours felt that way, how would you respond?

12. What can a child do to help a parent recover from an alcohol or drug problem?

13. When your parent is a drug or alcohol abuser, how do you protect yourself?


1. Team up with one or two of your classmates and attend an open meeting of Alateen (see Group Activity #1). Then, write an account of your experience giving your observations and what you learned. Present this as an oral report to your class. Note: You do not have to be the friend or family member of an addicted person in order to attend an open meeting of Alateen. Visitors are welcome.

2. Friends and family members of drug or alcohol abusers often unknowingly do things that help the person keep on using. Providing this kind of help is known as enabling. Some of the ways people enable are listed under discussion question #9. Do some research on enabling and write an essay or dramatic scene which illustrates one or more examples of enabling behavior. You’ll find the subject in almost any book on alcoholism or drug addiction.

3. People who care about a drug/alcohol abuser often want to intervene but don’t know how. Research the subject of intervention and write an essay or dramatic scene which presents an effective example.

Writing assignments #2 and #3 can both be used as the basis for dramatized presentations or role-playing exercises.

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video Drugs & Alcohol – Part 2
in the 12-part DVD series THE POWER OF CHOICE



1. Invite a speaker from Alateen to come to your classroom for a question and answer session. Alateen, the young people’s division of Al-Anon, is a self-help support group for kids who are being affected by somebody else’s drug or alcohol use. You can find local chapters of both organizations on the web.

2. Make a list of all the resources in your community that you could turn to for help or information regarding drug or alcohol dependency.

“Drugs & Alcohol – Part 2” – The Video

In this program, comedian/youth counselor Michael Pritchard, talks with students in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Cleveland, and Minneapolis, to discover how our values can guide us in making choices that are right for us. Learn more . . .

Buy This Video
The Series

The Power of Choice with Michael Pritchard is a 12-volume youth guidance video series aimed at empowering teenagers to make good choices in their lives. It teaches young people that they have the power of choice, that they are responsible for the choices they make, and that they owe it to themselves to choose the best.
Learn more . . .


Buy This Series

For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.


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