Institute advises parents to talk to teens about alcohol before college

August 17, 2011

Bethesda, MD – Parents need to talk to their teens about the dangers of drinking before sending them off to college, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommended Aug. 16. The institute’s College Task Force summarized research that indicates parents underestimate the consequences of excessive drinking by college students.

Statistics from the task force show that drinking by college students 18-24 years old contributes to an estimated 1,825 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year.

Research suggests that first-year students living on campus may be at a particular risk for excessive drinking, as alcohol consumption usually increases rapidly over a short period of time once school begins.

NIAAA encouraged parents to stay involved by learning about campus alcohol policies, contacting their child frequently, and getting to know roommates and living arrangements. Parents should discuss the serious consequences of underage drinking, such as violence, rape and academic failure, as well as penalties for engaging in this behavior.