Prior to your student’s first year at the university, they’ll be asked to complete an online teaching exercise called the College Alcohol Profile (CAP). This will provide them with some feedback about the choices, risks, and consequences of drinking. It will also help to correct misperceptions about the drinking norm itself on campus.
Part of this training will be some specific suggestions about how to avoid high-risk drinking. We want you to know what they’ll be taught here, so you can add to or reinforce those strategies.
Review these strategies you can use to talk to your student about how they can manage situations to be safe. It is best to choose a couple of strategies based on what you know about your student.
STRATEGIES TO AVOID HIGH-RISK DRINKING
Make sure your student has a plan to suggest some activities with friends instead of drinking.
If your student typically converses with a lot of humor, advise them to use it to think of things to say that can get them out of a bad situation. Encourage them to make the humorous statement on their own, so it’s something they feel confident in.
Students often report holding a drink but not actually drinking it. This deception helps others to leave them alone and not pressure them to drink something.
Have your student talk with a friend before the party to share a plan to stay safe. Encourage them to ask their friend to help make sure they both stick to the plan.
Most underage drinking occurs at parties, and in most cases, your student knows that alcohol will be at the party. They need to have a plan for how they’re going to deal with the situation so they’ll stay safe.
Leave the Scene
Suggest your student has a plan for how to get home if there’s no one at the party who has not been drinking or if they’re in a situation they feel is unsafe.
Turn Pressure Around
This strategy involves questioning the other person about pressure. Effective phrases include:
“Why are you trying so hard to make me do something I don’t want to do?”
“But I told you, no, I’m not going to do that. Don’t you listen?”
“Stop pressuring me. You're going to drive me crazy!”
“What kind of friend are you to keep pressuring me? Back off.”
Tips to Avoid High-Risk Drinking Problems
If your student chooses to drink, it is important they know strategies to minimize risk.
- Know your limits, stick to them, and stay in control.
- Determine how many drinks to have and stop at your number.
- Eat right before and while drinking.
- Learn from past mistakes and make adjustments.
- Drink one or two an hour. Shots hit in about 20 minutes.
- Check if your medicine interacts badly with alcohol.
- Don’t drink if you have a strong family history of alcoholism.
- Drink for quality, not quantity (a 6-pack of imported or micro beer).
- Be aware of your situation. If you feel unsafe, leave.
- Watch your drinks while being made and after. Never leave your drink alone, even if you only have a soft drink.
WAYS TO HELP FRIENDS
- Be the designated driver.
- Be a role model for your friends.
- Know and respond to alcohol poisoning.
- Never leave an intoxicated person alone.
- If you are concerned about the physical well-being of a friend who is overly intoxicated, call 911. The Nebraska Good Samaritan Law gives minors limited legal immunity if they call for medical assistance, remain on the scene and cooperate with law enforcement and the University Diversion Policy provides an option for the setting aside of the Code of Conduct violation.