Info for Parents on Alcohol & Other Drugs

Welcome Parents!

AlcoholEDU for Parents
Talk with your student about alcohol
Educate yourself
Campus Resources & Information 

Although the University of Maryland, in compliance with state law, prohibits the use and possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21, the negative consequences of alcohol use are of great concern for many parents and University administrators and staff. The negative consequences of alcohol use are of great concern for many parents and University administrators and staff. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use by students ages 18 through 24 may be responsible each year for 1,825 deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape. Additionally, 25% of students report academic problems including missing class, falling behind, performing poorly on exams and papers, and receiving lower grades as a result of alcohol use.

One of the most important things you can do to help your student make healthy and informed decisions in college is to stay involved. Talk to your son or daughter frequently to keep the lines of communication open.

AlcoholEDU for Parents

AlcoholEdu is an online alcohol education course that incorporates multimedia, synchronized slides, and interactive experiences.

Learn more at:

Talk With Your Student About Alcohol

  • Clearly state your expectations, thoughts, and values about alcohol.
  • Expand the conversation to include personal safety, sexual activity, and drugs other than alcohol.
  • Make it your family's goal to talk openly and honestly about these topics.
  • Listen to your son or daughter in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Let him or her know that at the University of Maryland, most students party responsibly, and 22% of Maryland students don't drink (National College Health Assessment - University of Maryland, College Park).
  • Assert your expectation that he or she will follow the University's rules and regulations and utilize its resources to engage in safe practices.
  • Be understanding of the fact that the transition to college can be difficult, and students will be trying to fit in with new friends.
  • Remember that the inappropriate use of alcohol and other drugs often is a sign of deeper issues; don't be afraid to ask your son or daughter what might be going on.
  • Stress to your son or daughter the importance of also looking out for others and knowing when to get help.
  • Make sure your student is aware of all the legal penalties associated with underage drinking, fake IDs, driving under the influence, and other alcohol-related offenses.

Keep the Conversation Going

 Call, email, or talk with your student frequently, especially during the first six weeks of the semester. Ask about academics, roommates or new friends, and social activities. Join your student on campus for Family Weekend (held each year during the fall semester) and ask to meet his or her friends.

Some possible questions include:

  • How are your classes?
  • What’s your roommate like?
  • What do you do for fun?
  • What’s the social scene like? Are there a lot of parties, campus activities, etc?
  • Do you like living in the dorms?
  • Are you meeting a lot of new people?
  • Do you see others making friends or drinking buddies?
  • What can we do to help?
  • What role do you think alcohol will play in your college experience?
  • What will you do if you’re with your friends and everyone is asking you to drink?
  • What will you do if you find a student passed out in the bathroom?
  • What are some ways you can tell others you do not want to drink or that you have reached your limit?
  • How will you handle a roommate that excessively drinks and parties?

Educate Yourself

The websites listed below are informative, interesting, and provide useful tips for discussing college drinking with your son or daughter. According to research, first-year students are most at risk for developing problems that can arise from social pressure and experimentation with new behaviors. However, all students are affected by the negative consequences of alcohol use whether it’s directly or indirectly.

Know the Warning Signs of Problematic Drinking & Drug Use

Some include:

  • Drinking or using drugs to forget about problems or feel relaxed
  • Having academic problems as a result of drinking
  • Denial and/or lying about use
  • Physical injury as a result of use
  • Legal issues, such as driving while under the influence
  • Difficulty remembering what happened as a result of drinking
  • Frequently drinking more than intended
  • Lying about use

Campus Resources & Information

If you are concerned about your student with regard to alcohol (e.g., experiences academic problems, reluctant to speak with you or return your calls, resists talking about friends and social time), please feel free to contact any of the on-campus support resources listed below:

Health Center Alcohol Counseling 301.314.8106

Parent Warmline 301.314.7651

Terp Parents/Helpline 301.314.8429

University Chaplains 301.314.9893

University Police 301.405.3555

Counseling Center 301.314.7651

Helpful Links

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism College Drinking Prevention Website

Parent & Family Affairs

Residence Hall Alcohol Policy & Practices

Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy