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The ABCs of College Drinking              INTRODUCTION


On most college campuses, there are numerous programs offering alcohol and other drug education and abuse prevention information.  More often than not these programs are presented in the residence halls, the student union, the athletic center and in the classrooms.  Other information can usually be found online, in the library or through the campus health center.  Most of these programs offer valuable information to assist students in dealing with the challenges associated with alcohol consumption.  I urge all of you to take advantage of these opportunities


In the meantime some of your most immediate and critical questions regarding campus alcohol issues may be answered here.  The questions listed in this book were asked during conversations with students as well as through letters and e-mails.  Some have been edited for brevity however most are verbatim.  For most questions, permission was granted by the students to use their names and campus affiliations.  When requested, the questioner remained anonymous.


Throughout the past twenty years I have had the wonderfully rewarding opportunity to interact with high school and college students and their parents: on campuses around the country while conducting educational programs and presentations, in the classroom while teaching courses dealing with chemical dependency, and behind closed doors while counseling students about their alcohol or other drug concerns.  Regrettably, most of the students I have talked with have had only limited information about alcohol and how to drink in a low risk manner.  Constructive and effective alcohol education seems to be sorely lacking in our primary and secondary schools.  As a result, students arrive in college with little or no accurate information about consuming alcohol, in particular, if they choose to drink - how to do it and minimize the risk for drinking problems.  “Just say NO” is appropriate for junior high school students but as they move into high school and on to college “Just say KNOW” seems more appropriate. 


Intentionally, this book does not deal with the longer-term issues associated with drinking such as addiction, health problems or family/relationship concerns.  It was written to address the immediate alcohol concerns of students and to provide them with the essential information they need if they choose to drink.  For a more in-depth look at college drinking issues, take a look at my first book Beer, Booze and Books…a sober look at higher education.

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