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Defusing Hostile Interactions: One Day Course

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Lesson 10, Topic 1
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Responding to Intoxicated Individuals

Kerry September 15, 2021

In this section, you will be able to identify and respond to intoxicated individuals. Individuals who are intoxicated present challenges to the intervener. Communication abilities are impaired, ability to focus and attend is reduced and impulse control dramatically drops.


Violent behaviour can be more likely to occur in any circumstance where a person is intoxicated. Some key behaviours that reduce risk include:

  • Self-manage:
    1) Do not become argumentative
    2) Do not moralize or criticize their state
  • Increase distances – stay out of arm’s reach
  • Be an attentive listener and paraphrase repetitive statements
  • Be polite and firm when making requests
  • Ask for and use the person’s name and offer yours
  • Take verbal and non-verbal threats seriously as impulse control is often lower with intoxication
  • Disengage and call security or police for assistance