College Parents

Alcohol is the #1 Date Rape Drug....

The truth about alcohol use/abuse on college campus.

Resources:

Rx Drugs on College Campuses- perceptions, abuse, and consequences

Adderall is one of the most abused drugs on college campuses  Presentation  Is this the new gateway drug? Does it really make you smarter?  Is it worth the risk? Other Articles

Adderall Abuse Increasing Among College Students

Adderall Dilemma Program-   Adderall Dilemma handout- think twice

 

Students:

The Generation X initiative at Ohio State- Excellent - Students get involved

Why Rx Drug abuse is more serious than you think- Workbook

Study Management

NCPIE:  College Resource Kit- Rx Prevention

Uncommon Knowledge:  Mental Health   Like most of the general population you may not be aware that many mental health disorders typically begin between the ages of 18-22.  This is particularly important for college aged students and their parents since this is the time when young adults often go off to college and frequently are away from home for the first time.  Depression might be misconstrued as homesickness, anxiety might be viewed as excited about being at college, bi-polar might be misinterpreted as the typical ups and downs of college life AND excessive drinking and drugs may be the beginning of an addiction problem or a response to another mental health issue in order to feel normal.    

In a nutshell... every person or family has a range of what is considered to be normal behavior and emotions.  It may be normal for your daughter to call and cry with excitement & joy about the smallest thing or your child's typical routine may be to sleep 5 hours per night.  If typical behaviors or emotions seem to CHANGE from your child's norm then you may want to follow-up with your child and/or a mental health  therapist or doctor depending on the situation.  It is important to know that in general medical doctors have very little training on mental health issues.  Most colleges have several free therapy session within the health insurance program offered on campus).    Concerned may be following up with the questions, a trip to campus...  Most schools have free counseling. 

There is a fine line between staying in touch, staying/growing more dependent or allowing our child to begin maturing into an independent adult.  It is nice to feel connected and apart of our child's college experience. On the other hand if your child doesn't call you and keeps saying "I'm too busy...."  You may want to set a time to call.  

The real bottom line is to follow-up on your parental instincts.  My son began calling less frequently and seemed to be tired or dozing when I called then we received what I called a "funky" e-mail or motherly intuition when I told my husband we had to go and get him.  Acting on your instincts may prevent your child from making a life changing mistake. 

 

Orientations:   Parents may want to consider asking some questions about the campus policies on drug and alcohol use but there are other areas that need addressing too. Major areas of concern include enforcement of policies, Rx drug and alcohol awareness programs, other mental health issues that often surface between 18-24, and consent forms.

        Although it may not be possible to ask all the questions Recommended Questions to ask at Orientation picking a few to ask at orientation may help other parents realize the severity of alcohol and Rx abuse on campuses. Don’t let the college/university brush over these question. Consider setting up a separate meeting with the Dean of Students. Also, you may have found out since your child turned 18 access to their personal information is limited and even more so once they are in college. Review sample forms and get them signed when meeting with the Dean. Sample consent forms: Consent 1Consent 2

PowerPoint & Articles with college specific information:

Also great book...Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children by Allison Bottke

 

Online Screening for Alcohol and Drug concerns
 

Articles: 

 

Other Information:

 With these FACTS in mind...we need to ask ourselves if colleges really care about our children and their welfare or is it all about getting money or some meaningless ranking.               
 
 www.casacolumbia.org...     Spring Break 2009

Wasting the Best and Brightest: Substance Abuse at America's Colleges and Universities  (Details of 2007 CASA Conference 243 pages)
There’s no doubt that the alcohol problem on our campuses is a raging fire.  In a typical year, thanks to alcohol use more than 1,700 college students die, about 100,000 are raped and sexually assaulted and 700,000 are assaulted.” 
    
Summary of Conference: 28 pages “In the past 10 years there have been no improvement/decline in the rates of students drinking.  22.9% of college students meet the criteria for alcohol, drug abuse or dependence vs. 9% of the general population. What are the consequences of this abuse: Poor academic performance, medical problems, depression, anxiety, suicide, risky sex, violence, property damage.... “  Since the last study in 1993-94, the situation on American’s campuses has deteriorated.  Accepting as inevitable this college culture of alcohol and other drug abuse threatens not only the present well being of millions of college students, but also the future capacity of our nation to maintain its leadership in the fiercely competitive global economy.

Personal Reflection: With three sons in our family attending 5 college orientations, none of these institutions, from large public to small Christian private, adequately prepared students or parents for some of college trends with respect to illegal use of drugs and mental health disorders. Only one school vaguely alluded to the fact college life may be very different for students.   At one of the orientations the Dean of Students asked, “How many of you would agree that your college experience was one of the best times of your life? (I raised my hand!!) He then said, “Don’t expect the same for you child.” I was puzzled and shrugged it off. It wouldn’t be long before I realized just how much the college environment had changed.  For example, when I was on campus I could have accepted and drank an open beer from almost any sorority or fraternity member and not be concerned that I would be poisoned or drugged. Today, students can’t even be sure an open drink from a friend is safe. Abusing Rx drugs was virtually nonexistent. Today Rx drugs are easier to get than pot and Adderal is as commonplace as taking an aspirin. Yes, times have changed. Review this information with your child so everyone is on the same page.