PARENTS CAN HELP PREVENT ALCOHOL ABUSE
Parents play a part in reducing heavy drinking. By talking to their student and encouraging them to be responsible about drinking, parents can have an impact on their student’s decision-making at college. Heavy drinking among college students is a serious national problem. Each year, college students at institutions across the country die or are seriously injured due to alcohol poisoning or accidents resulting from alcohol use.
Heavy drinking (defined as five or more drinks in one sitting) causes other problems too. Students who drink heavily tend to miss classes, their grades suffer, they tend to get into trouble, or experience personal problems. According to a 2011 survey of UW-Platteville students:
- 32 percent of students missed a class due to drinking
- 22 percent performed poorly on a test or an important project
- 55 percent reported some form of public misconduct (such as trouble with the police, fighting/arguing, DWI/DUI, vandalism) at least once in the past year
- 58 percent experienced some kind of personal problem (such as suicidality, being hurt or injured, trying unsuccessfully to try to stop using, sexual assault) at least once in the past year
Non-drinkers are affected, too. Roommates and neighbors end up cleaning up after their friends or losing sleep or study time because of a drunken roommate.
Parents can make a difference! Knowing the warning signs of substance use and abuse and where you can get help for your student is important. Recognize that those myths of “it’s no big deal” and “they are only experimenting” significantly ignore the risks associated with substance abuse. University Counseling Services can help. They offer counseling services to students and can offer screening and educational programming for students whose behavior is being impacted by substance use.
UW-Platteville considers the enforcement of campus policies and state laws regarding alcohol and other drug use critical to the prevention of excessive use of substances by students. Students under the age of 21 are prohibited from consuming alcohol anywhere on campus. Students and parents should review those campus and state policies and laws.
There are strict sanctions for students who violate alcohol policy, including the possibility of:
- Participation in an alcohol education and assessment program (refer to top of page)
- Expulsion from the residence hall for students residing in campus housing
Staff members at UW-Platteville are making a concerted effort to combat the misperceptions students have about alcohol use and abuse. Parents can help prevent alcohol abuse by talking to their student before school starts about their expectations regarding alcohol.