Binge drinking at college – how to look after your kids

Binge drinking can be a real issue for kids, especially when they are away at college and the pressure from peers is immense. Your children need to know about the dangers so that they can better understand why joining in with the crowd may not be a good idea.

This does not mean that your kids should feel as though they cannot enjoy the social aspects of college life; this is an important part of growing up and gaining their independence. It simply means that you need to help them understand the dangers of binge drinking and how it can have a serious effect on the rest of their lives.

Knowing about the dangers

Trying to scare your kids about the use of alcohol is not going to work; especially if they have grown up in a household where social drinking is common. You need to make yourself aware of the very real dangers that can be associated with drinking too much and use this information during a rational and friendly discussion. The dangers are not restricted to physical and mental issues caused by the alcohol itself, they also include:

  • Accidents caused by drink driving.
  • Increased likelihood of being physically assaulted or of assaulting someone else.
  • Increased likelihood of sexual assault.
  • Long-term damage to the brain.

Not all of these issues are immediately apparent. Damage to the brain becomes obvious as time goes on, and the abuse of alcohol continues. The brain is still developing while a student is in college, and continues to do so until the age of twenty-five. Damage caused at this critical time can be permanent.

Helping your child to avoid a problem with binge drinking

A sensible conversation may be all that is needed to keep your kids away from any real problems with alcohol. However, this is not always the case. Sadly, many kids pay more attention to other college students than they do to their parents. This is why staying involved, especially when your kids first start college, is a good idea:

  • Keep in touch regularly, without being overbearing.
  • Make sure that you are available if your kids ever need to talk to you.
  • Look out for any signs that your child has a problem with alcohol.
  • Be aware of what the college is doing to promote alcohol awareness and intervene where there is a problem.
  • Seek help from experts such as New Freedom Academy as soon as you know this is necessary.

There are times when kids develop an issue with drinking despite the best efforts of their parents. If this happens, it’s important that help is provided as soon as possible, so you need to be aware of the signs.

Signs that a college student may have a problem with alcohol

Binge drinking in students can have a lot of related indicators attached to it. Being aware of these indicators can help you identify if your child needs help.

  • Driving while drunk, fighting or having sex.
  • Regular days of the week where heavy drinking is common.
  • Drinking more than intended on a regular basis.
  • Black outs while drinking.
  • Neglecting other aspects of college life.

If you have contact with your child, and alcohol is becoming an issue, there is a chance that you may be able to tell, if you ask the right questions. As soon as you suspect there is a problem, you should start to deal with it, by talking to your child and getting help for them if necessary.