University culture in America is almost synonymous with alcohol consumption these days, a lifestyle that is glorified and reinforced by popular media every day. Of the majority of college students in the US that actively admit to drinking alcohol, almost half abuse alcohol to some degree. Alcohol abuse among college students is often noticed by campus adults as missed classroom attendance and poor grades. Alcohol abuse has increasingly negative effects on a college student’s academic performance, as well as noticeable damage to physical health and well being.
As the parent of a college student, it’s important for you to be aware of and understand not only the growing trends of alcoholism and drug abuse on college campuses, but also the ways in which you can support your student’s recovery if they find themselves inadvertently addicted. You should also know the ways in which you can help deter this from happening altogether.
How to Handle Drug and Alcohol Abuse with College Students
While drinking has always been a large part of college culture, specifically binge drinking, there is a developing trend of on-campus drug rehabilitation centers and sobriety programs to deal with the consequences of a media-hyped alcohol culture. It’s virtually impossible to control what college kids do, especially what they drink, but when campus administrators team up with students to create and promote a culture of sobriety, the influence it can have on curbing indulgence and irresponsibility is powerful. Many campuses around the country are experiencing surprising success rates in reducing alcohol abuse as a result of these efforts.
What Parents Can Do
As a parent, it’s important to stay informed, pay attention, and be aware.The more you know about the culture of the school your student is attending, the better equipped you are to choose the safest environment and monitor your son or daughter’s influences.
Additionally, strive to be personally involved on campus. Attend any informational meetings available about student drug abuse in order to gain a good sense of the drug climate at that particular campus. Understanding the environmental influences will help you to communicate with your student and guide them to make sound choices.
Dealing with Drug Addiction
If your child develops a substance abuse problem and seeks help, you need to be engaged in the recovery process. Personally see to it that your student makes it to meetings, even
if it means driving them there and waiting. You must be the enforcer to help ward off the possibility of relapse.
Remember to practice active listening. This means paying close attention during conversations with your child to understand the logic behind his/her thinking. Truly seek to understand where the student is coming from in terms of their frame of logic. Ask clarifying questions, not judgemental ones. Demonstrate to them that you sincerely want to understand and make a real effort to do so. This establishes trust and intimacy from which you can build credibility and influence in the mind of your student.
If your student shows signs of poor confidence, help them find ways in which they can demonstrate to themselves that they are capable of achieving their goals. Help them identify their past accomplishments and use that to reinforce their capabilities for recovery in the present.
Support Systems are Everything in Addiction Recovery
Finally, help to build a support network for your student. The student should be surrounded and constantly influenced by people who have his or her best interest at heart. This network can consist of people in the same age group as your student or it can be family members or friends. The point is for your student not find him or herself isolated at any time. Remember, our human nature tends toward emulation of those whom we spend the most time with and encouraging positive peer groups is important during the college years.
If you’re struggling with addiction and need help getting clean, call us at Treatment Now for a free consultation to learn about your options.
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