Parents whose kids attend the University of Georgia (UGA) here in Athens may be relieved to hear that it’s no longer ranked at the top of the Princeton Review’s list of “Party Schools.” It had that dubious distinction back in 2010. In fact, it didn’t even make the top 20 in the 2019 edition of “The Best 384 Colleges,” which is based on data collected from 384 colleges and universities and 138,000 students.
However, that certainly doesn’t mean that drinking is no longer a significant part of college life for many UGA students. It ranked 12th in the “Lots of Hard Liquor” category. That ranking is based on student responses to the survey question “How widely is hard liquor used at your school?”
A report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted a decrease in drinking on the UGA campus in recent years. However, it’s a school where football, fraternities and sororities are a big part of campus life. Off-campus, Athens has its fair share of bars and restaurants.
One of the more concerning alcohol-related problems on virtually every college campus, but more so on campuses with a strong party culture, is binge drinking. According to a study published this spring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six Americans reported binge drinking at least once a week. Binge drinking (defined as anywhere from four to seven drinks over a short period) is blamed for over half of all deaths related to excessive alcohol consumption.
Parents may feel helpless when it comes to keeping their kids from drinking. However, one substance abuse prevention advocate contends that “when it comes to drinking…all evidence says teenagers do listen to their parents….” She also recommends having a code word that your kids can text you to ask you to come and get them if they’re in a situation in which they don’t feel safe or comfortable.
You might not be happy that your child got themselves into this situation, but if they feel free to call you, you can help them avoid driving drunk or getting into a car with a driver who is. Besides the obvious danger of driving under the influence, a DUI conviction can follow a college student long into the future.