A study that was recently published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reinforces how important it is to talk to your teenagers about alcohol use and abuse before sending them off to college. The research from Professor Robert Turrisi at Penn State was trying to figure out when the best timing is for parent alcohol awareness intervention. As part of the study, parents were asked to read a handbook to their kids that contained an overview of strategies and techniques for communicating effectively, ways to help teens overcome peer pressure and develop assertiveness and information on how alcohol affects the body. The parents were asked to talk to their teens either 1) during the summer before college, 2) during the summer before college and again during the fall semester of freshman year or 3) during the fall semester of freshman year.
The results of the study showed that parents should educate their teens before they enter college. Those teens that had spoken with their parents about alcohol and were educated on the risks and repercussions of use were more likely to stay in a non-drinking or light-drinking category. According to Turrisi, “It is well known that fewer drinking problems develop for every year that heavy drinking is delayed.” Parents have the ability to play a strong role in reducing their child’s alcohol-related drinking by educating them early on.
In this study, parents used a handbook to help guide the conversation. Another way to approach this is to have your child take an online alcohol awareness class prior to leaving home for college. The fact is that the drinking environment is hugely present on most university campuses. Arming your child with the facts he or she needs to help him walk away from pressures to partake in the partying atmosphere is a tool they can carry with them for the next four years.
Online alcohol and drug awareness classes are an extremely informative, interesting and convenient way to learn the material. Most teenagers enjoy using technology, so online classes are the best way to disseminate the material. All the student needs is a web-based computer device and the course can be taken in the comfort of home. Nothing needs to be downloaded or printed out, so there’s no need to be in an office or classroom environment. Students can login and out as many times as they would like, and at any time of the day or night. This is a perfect situation for the teenager who seems to get a burst of energy late at night. The computer program will hold the last spot, so when the teen reenters the class, they are ready to continue from where they left off.
A high quality online alcohol class that is designed by a psychotherapist and expert in the field is filled with the most current information on alcohol and drug use and abuse. Topics covered include an overview of the different substances that are out there, the short and long-term health risks, the legal repercussions involved with getting caught for underage substance abuse and the skills necessary to avoid alcohol and drugs altogether.
Listen to the experts and give your college bound student the chance to gain alcohol and drug awareness skills before leaving home. Their future depends on it.