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Appendix A


Tips for Discussing Drinking  


  • Take some time to think through the issues you want to discuss before talking about drinking with your teen.

  • Consider how your teen might react and ways you might respond to his or her questions and feelings.

  • Choose a time to talk when both you and your teen are feeling relaxed.

  • Don’t give a one-time speech. You don’t need to cover everything at once.  Find frequent opportunities to talk to your children about alcohol (i.e. when viewing a television commercial or seeing a billboard).  

  • Don’t nag!

  • Focus on the facts about alcohol and binge drinking and avoid scare tactics.


Topics for Discussion

  • Teach your teen that anyone, even teens, can develop alcohol problems.

  • Emphasize to your teen that excessive alcohol consumption can have serious consequences. 

  • Explain why your teen should never drink and drive, or get in a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol. 

  • Discuss how your teen will make decisions about using alcohol. 

  • Discuss how peer influence may affect decisions.

  • Discuss what your teen will do if he or she attends a party where only alcoholic beverages are available. 

  • Discourage participation in dangerous drinking like chugging and drinking games.

  • Show your teen how to recognize alcohol abuse and how to deal with emergency drinking situations.

  • Support your teen in his or her efforts to not drink or drink moderately. Work together to agree upon reasonable limitations and develop a plan for safety of self and others.  

  • For college students, encourage involvement in other aspects of campus life. Research shows involvement in campus life enhances retention, student satisfaction, and academic success.


Conversation Starters – Preparing Your Teen for College: 

  • How will you decide whether to drink at college? 

  • What will you do if you are at a party with only alcohol to drink? 

  • What will you do if your roommate only wants to drink and party? 

  • What will you do if you find a student passed out in the bathroom? 

  • How will you handle it if asked to baby-sit someone  very drunk?

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