Connection Alcohol and Other Drug Program
Information for Parents and Families of Shippensburg University students.
Drinking issues are a growing concern on college campuses
nationwide, particularly for first-year college students. New students often
feel an amazing amount of independence during their first year in college. You
may find your student testing boundaries and exploring new beliefs and
behaviors. However, sometimes they are unaware of the consequences of their
decisions. Talk openly with your student about attending parties, alcohol and
drug use, sexual decisions, safety and peer pressure. Although these conversations
can be tough, they are extremely important. Families have more influence than
they realize when it comes to students making positive decisions about such
is a list of several tools you may find helpful in starting the discussion about alcohol and other drugs with your student. If you have further questions or
concerns, feel free to contact Sarah McDowell, Director of the Connection Program at (717)477-1536 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information to facilitate conversation about
healthy choices regarding staying alcohol and drug free: http://thecommunityofconcern.org/parenting-tools/
parents need to know about college drinking: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/NIAAACollegeMaterials/parentBrochure.aspx
mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving is to stop drunk driving, support the
victims of this violent crime, and prevent underage drinking: http://www.madd.org/underage-drinking/the-power-of-parents/
Semester-A Time for Parents to Revisit Discussions About College Drinking: http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/CollegeFactSheet/back_to_collegeFact.htm
use and abuse of alcohol and drugs are serious issues that should not be
ignored or minimized. If
left untreated, use and abuse can develop into substance use disorder.
As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of alcohol and
drug abuse early. If you’re worried that your student might be abusing
alcohol or drugs, here are some of the warning signs to look for:
Physical and health warning signs of drug abuse
that are bloodshot or pupils that are smaller or larger than normal.
nosebleeds could be related to snorted drugs (meth or cocaine).
in appetite or sleep patterns. Sudden weight loss or weight gain.
without a history of epilepsy.
in personal grooming or physical appearance.
coordination, injuries/accidents/bruises that they won’t or can’t tell you
about- they don’t know how they got hurt.
smells on breath, body, or clothing.
tremors, incoherent or slurred speech, impaired or unstable coordination.
Behavioral signs of alcohol or drug abuse
class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school.
in attendance and performance at work- loss of interest in extracurricular
activities, hobbies, sports or exercise- decreased motivation.
money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing
isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors.
with family values and beliefs.
with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters.
more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact.
change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities).
incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs.
eye drops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils.
Psychological warning signs of alcohol or drug abuse
confusing change in personality and/or attitude.
mood changes, irritability, angry outbursts or laughing at nothing.
of unusual hyperactivity or agitation.
of motivation; inability to focus, appears lethargic or “spaced out.”
fearful, withdrawn, anxious, or paranoid, with no apparent reason.