Going to college is exhilarating for young people. They are becoming more independent, making new friends and laying the groundwork for a future career. But the college experience, whether it’s in North Carolina or elsewhere, can also be fraught with hazards such as underage or excessive drinking. There can be intense social pressure to be part of the “in” crowd by indulging in alcohol. Serious consequences can result when people under the legal age of 21 choose to drink.
What should parents tell their college-age children about drinking? It’s a conversation that is not easy, but necessary. Some helpful tips can be shared by mothers and fathers with their children to reinforce the fact that underage drinking is never acceptable and drinking responsibly if they are over 21 is a must.
Try discussing these ideas with them for mitigating their risk:
- Stop drinking when you feel you have consumed enough.
- If you attend a gathering where you are drinking, make sure you have a reliable way to get home safely.
- Look out for the well-being of your friends and have them do the same for you.
- Realize that you don’t have to drink at every party or social situation.
- Saying you prefer not to drink is perfectly alright.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol in a short amount of time.
- Never drive when you are drunk. Don’t be a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who has been drinking.
- Avoid participating in drinking games.
- Take note if your grades begin slipping because you are often intoxicated.
- Eat a meal before you drink.
- Shun binge drinking (having at least five drinks one right after the other.)
- At a party, don’t put your drink down and walk away, even briefly. Someone could slip something into it without your knowledge.
- Be clear that drinking to excess is at odds with your family’s values.
An experienced attorney can provide more information about the legal ramifications of underage drinking.