Parents vital to substance abuse prevention
Substance abuse in higher education is a major issue that colleges and universities address yearly. This is also one of parents’ main concerns for their children attending colleges and universities. Parents are informed during orientation of the substance abuse prevention activities and programs offered by their children’s school. Many administrators accept this passive approach as adequate. They do not realize the vital role parents could and would take in collaborating with substance abuse prevention specialists if asked to do so.
Administrators and substance abuse preventionists can supply parents with information regarding their activities to clarify students’ misperceptions. This information includes evidence regarding consumption that is school specific. This is obtained by conducting annual surveys that include self reports from students regarding their consumption and their beliefs regarding their peers’ consumption.
Parents can share the results of the current annual survey with their children entering school. Parents who have students returning to campus can share the same results of the annual survey. This will reinforce what they learned earlier. The idea is to encourage an ongoing dialogue with their children regarding this issue.
C. Kevin Synnott
Dept. of Business Administration, Management and Marketing
Eastern Connecticut State University