For our young adults who will attend college this fall, the first six (6) weeks of freshman year can be a particular vulnerable time due to student expectations and social pressures at the start of the academic year. While many will arrive or commute to campus to learn, experience new friendships, and make memories that will last a lifetime, many young adults will engage in harmful and underage college drinking and also deal with its aftermath.
Research shows that students who abstain from drinking often do so because their parents discussed alcohol use and its adverse consequences with them. Massapequa Takes Action Coalition reminds parents to stay involved during these crucial early weeks:
- Talk with your young adult about the dangers of harmful underage college drinking—such as the penalties for underage drinking, and how alcohol use can lead to sexual and other violence, as well as academic failure and other adverse consequences;
- Reach out periodically and keep the lines of communication open and stay alert for possible alcohol-related problems;
- Encourage your child to feel free to reach out to you and share information about their daily activities, and to ask for help if needed;
- Learn about the school’s alcohol prevention and emergency intervention efforts; and
- Make sure students know the signs of alcohol overdose or an alcohol-related problem, and how to help.
For parents who want to discuss the consequences of college drinking with their sons and daughters, resources are available at www.CollegeDrinkingPrevention.gov. Additional parent communication and prevention tips can be found at mtacoalition.com or Like MTAC on Facebook!