Drug Prevention

ALCOHOL, OTHER DRUGS, AND COLLEGE - A Parent's Guide

So your child is going off to college. This is a huge step for both of you, and you want your son or daughter chooses the "right" school. There are so many factors to consider: A large or small school? A rural or urban campus? How far from home? What majors are available? Costs?

As a parent you want to provide guidance in answering these questions. You will also have additional concerns that may not occur to your son or daughter. One important is "What is the alcohol and drug scene on campus?" Naturally, you will want your son or daughter to attend a college where he or she can focus on learning and enjoy a positive, healthy social life.

How can you tell whether a particular college is one where weekend alcohol-fueled partying regularly begins on Thursday night? Or where attendance is poor at Monday morning classes because too many students are hung over? Or where your son or daughter will have trouble studying or sleeping because of a roommate's involvement with high-risk drinking?

There are no guarantees, but there are ways you can learn about a school's efforts to prevent problems related to student alcohol and other drug use.

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BASIC STATISTICS:

COLLEGE STUDENTS ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS WHEN OTHERS DRINK TOO MUCH:

60.5%  had study or sleep interrupted
53.6%  had to take care of a drunken student
29.3%  had been insulted or humiliated
20.1%  experienced an unwanted sexual advance (women)
18.6%  had a serious argument or quarrel
13.6%  had property damaged
9.5%    had been pushed, hit, or assaulted
1.3%    had been a victim of sexual assault or date rape (women)

PARENTS UNDERESTIMATE TEENAGE ALCOHOL USE:

3% Parents who think their teen had five or more drinks in a row in the past month
33% Teens who had five or more drinks in a row in the past month

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ASK QUESTIONS!

You have a right to know that a college is serious in its efforts to address alcohol and other drug related problems. Here are questions you should expect college officials to answer, with hard evidence to support their claims.

WHO TO ASK:

Staff in the following offices should be able to provide answers:

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VISIT THE CAMPUS

A visit to the campus is one of the best ways to find out about the alcohol and other drug scene. Be sure to discuss your concerns with your son or daughter before the visit. Help him or her understand why this issue is important.

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TALK WITH YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER!

Campus climate is important, but ultimately it is up to your son or daughter to make responsible choices. Studies show that parents remain a key influence on college students. Your opinions and guidance can make a difference!

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For more information, visit:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Safe and Drug-free Schools Program
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/SDFS

THE HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER FOR ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG PREVENTION
http://www.edc.org/hec

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© 2002 Madison High School