The risks of normalizing alcohol use by college students

| Jul 7, 2020 | OUI |

For many people, over-consumption of alcohol and college are practically synonymous. People expect college students to overindulge when socializing and first learning about how alcohol affects their bodies in a setting where they don’t typically have the direct supervision of parents.

Most parents don’t want to seem old-fashioned or come across as so strict that they encourage their children to rebel even more during their college years. This concern can lead well-meaning parents to be passive about the ubiquity of alcohol abuse on college campuses.

Unfortunately, not talking to your young adults about alcohol could put them at risk for issues ranging from addiction to potential criminal charges, such as impaired driving charges.

Drinking can affect academic progress

Students frequently attend parties hosted by others on campus or in off-campus housing when drinking during college. On-campus situations could easily lead to the involvement of campus security or police forces, which may mean that the school becomes aware of underage students who were present at the party and drinking. Getting caught at a party while under 21 could mean disciplinary action from the school itself for minors enrolled in college.

Additionally, if the police get involved, the potential for minor in possession charges is a very real concern. Beyond that, overindulging during the weekend could mean that your student won’t be ready for class the next week. They may fail to get homework done or may not prepare for critical exams. In some cases, they could be so hungover that they skip school.

The more frequently they party and drink, the more likely it could be to become a problem and even an addiction that interferes with daily life. 

Young adults may feel invulnerable and make bad decisions when drinking

People can make many questionable decisions while under the influence of alcohol in a social setting. From engaging in risky sexual behavior with their peers to getting in a fistfight when they are usually relatively calm, there are a host of unwanted behaviors that can crop up while under the influence of alcohol.

Some of those bad decisions, like getting behind the wheel after a party, could lead to criminal charges. A guilty plea or conviction could mean losing out on financial aid, losing enrollment or possibly even going to jail. Talking with your student openly and frequently about alcohol use can help prepare them for college culture and assist them in making decisions that focus on their long-term plans, not short-term gratification.