Young adults are extremely impressionable. Just when they are beginning to navigate their independence, they are thrown into the “real world” of college, jobs, and adult relationships. For some young adults, college is the first time they are experiencing alcohol. It’s important to talk to your young adult about responsible drinking before they go off to college. If your child has decided to consume alcohol, it’s important to speak with them about limiting its use to responsible moments. Here are some tips to help you talk to your young adult about alcohol before they go off to college. These tips come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The transition to college
College can be an overwhelming time for your young adult. For many of them, it’s the first time they are away from home or the first time they have a job. These changes in academic and work expectations can be overwhelming for anyone, but especially for students just beginning at a new school for the first time. For some students who are feeling overwhelmed, they may begin to turn to alcohol to help cope with the stressors of this new life. It’s important to remind your student that turning to alcohol to cope can be a dangerous habit to start. Many schools offer counseling services for their students. Urge your student to reach out for help from a trained professional if they are feeling stressed. Oftentimes as well, students starting at a new school have trouble fitting in and finding a friend group. For some of these students, they turn to alcohol to fit in. Reminding your student that they don’t need alcohol to fit in is a good place to start.
How to keep the conversation going throughout the school year
Keeping the lines of communication open throughout the year is a good practice to implement. Let your child know that they are not alone — you are there for them at all times. Remind them that you are just a phone call away. Keeping this conversation going overtime is also a good way for you to make sure there are no bad habits forming that could be early signs of a problem. Continue to check in with your student throughout the school year to ensure that your student is coping healthily.
Pinnacle Recovery is here to help you help your student. We offer family therapy for those who need it. Reach out to our trained and experienced staff at 1-866-301-0573. We can’t wait to hear from you.