STILL Partners in Prevention...Before There is a Problem

Rebecca Caldwell

CROSSROADS: Substance Abuse Prevention & Education Programs

Parents of teenagers play a primary role in deterring students from drug & alcohol abuse. Now that your student is at UNCW, the university needs your partnership as we address the concern of alcohol & drug abuse on campus.

While we know that almost 3 in 5 of UNCW students either abstain or make low-risk choices in regards to alcohol*, some students make risky choices that affect themselves and our community. Drinking and drug abuse on university campuses are linked to injuries, assaults, sexual abuse, unsafe sex, academic problems, health problems, drunk driving, and vandalism.

Now that your student is at college, here are some ways to stay involved in preventing drug and alcohol abuse and associated problems:

  • Pay special attention to the experiences and activities of your son or daughter during the first term. There is great potential for excessive abuse of alcohol when students enter college, and for that abuse to interfere with their healthy adjustment to campus life.
  • Call your son or daughter frequently during the first term.
  • Inquire about their roommate, their new friends, and the social scene that they are experiencing.
  • Encourage your son or daughter to get involved on campus in student organizations, community service, or student governance. Involvement can help your student build a strong connection to the campus community, make healthy friendships, and even learn to manage their time.
  • Remind your son or daughter about the penalties for breaking campus policies and for being arrested in Wilmington for underage consumption, carrying a fake I.D., and D.W.I.
  • Make sure that your son or daughter understands that alcohol abuse can lead to adverse consequences such as sexual assaults, violence, accidents, and academic failure.

You may be wondering, "If my son or daughter is in trouble with drugs or alcohol, how can I tell from home?" Some signs to watch for include a sudden drop in grades, never being available or reluctance to talk to you, unwillingness to talk about their activities or friends, judicial troubles on or off-campus, and serious mood or personality changes. If you believe your son or daughter is having a problem with alcohol or drugs, you could call CROSSROADS: Substance Abuse Prevention & Education Program at 962-4136 to get more information on warning signs and how to intervene or you may also notify the Dean of Students office at 962-3119 or your son or daughter's Residence Coordinator about your concerns about your student.

*2009 UNCW Substance Abuse Surveys, n=1309