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Talking With Your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol

Deciding where to go to college, what career path to pursue, and how to finance an advanced education are all decisions your college-bound son or daughter has made in moving toward independent adulthood. But your high school senior is not there yet.

Young adults still need and value their parents’ guidance as they make decisions about their future. One of these decisions will be about alcohol use at college.

During their first 6 weeks, college freshmen seem especially vulnerable to underage alcohol use and its consequences, as they adjust to new social and academic expectations.

However, research suggests that teens whose parents talked with them about alcohol avoidance before they begin their first year of college are more likely to not use alcohol or to limit its use—and thus experience fewer alcohol-related consequences. These consequences include academic failure as well as injury and, all too frequently, death.

The Sound of Your Voice is a short animated video that encourages parents to talk with college-bound students about alcohol use. View the video to learn why this conversation is critical to a safe and successful college experience.

Need tips on how to start the conversation and what to say? Download Talking With Your College-Bound Young Adult About Alcohol (PDF 408KB).

So start talking with your young adult now about avoiding underage drinking in college. This is one more critical lesson that you can teach your son or daughter in making the most of a college education.

Additional resources are available from College Drinking—Changing the Culture, a website of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.