Every year there is a needless loss of life among our young people due to reckless drinking which can lead to drunk driving, alcohol poisoning and other alcohol related fatalities. A sound harm reduction based education program about safe and unsafe drinking practices could reduce this toll dramatically. But instead of these pragmatic and life-saving policies our public policy is firmly entrenched in an abstinence only educational approach.
Does promoting an abstinence-only approach to alcohol as work to eliminate college-age drinking and its attendant harms? The answer is a resounding NO.
Students who have not been educated about safe and unsafe drinking practices are far more likely to engage in unsafe drinking practices which can lead to expulsion from school, STDs, loss of limbs or even loss of life.
Students who grasp the fact that harm is hierarchical and who have a firm grasp of harm reduction strategies and a solid harm-reductionist mind set are those who are most likely to make wise choices concerning their alcohol use and least likely to suffer any harm due to alcohol use.
Nothing is so dangerous as the all-or-nothing, black-and-white mind set.
It is most unfortunate that the laws of the United States will punish parents for attempting to keep their own children safe. The best thing which you as a parent can do to help keep your child from drinking harms is to host your child's party at your home. Unfortunately people are being arrested for this.
However, it is not against the law to educate your children about safe and unsafe drinking practices and we strongly urge parents to familiarize their children with the information contained in this web site.
Children learn more from examples set by their parents than from any words the parents can speak to them. The best thing you can do for your child is to set a good example by drinking moderately and responsibly around him/her. Studies show that children raised in such an environment are far lass likely to have alcohol problems than those raise in an environment where alcohol is either taboo or where it is openly abused by parents.
We would also like to recommend that parents read Stanton Peele's book Addiction Proof Your Child.