Parents sending their kids off to college should make sure they understand the trends in substance abuse before letting them go. College life provides an atmosphere that encourages dangerous behaviors. College life has become a time for young adults to get out from under the iron law of their parents and experiment with drugs and alcohol. This leads to a practice of using and abusing drugs and alcohol. Parents should understand these drug and alcohol use trends before sending their kids away to school. The more parents know about college life practices and how their children are in high school the better prepared they can be. It is even more imperative that parents understand their children and thinking patterns. This can be difficult because teenagers are bundles of highly volatile emotions and hormones. For example, if you child is using or abusing drugs and alcohol in high school they are more likely to go off the deep end in college when they are on their own and surrounded by like-minded peers. Understanding Current Trends in Drug and Alcohol Use Parents should already have an idea about the drug trends in drug and alcohol use at colleges today. Parents of graduating seniors today are much closer to the college life and atmosphere than say those from twenty years ago. Modern technology, popular culture and social media has made the atmosphere of today’s universities much more visible than the past. It is also clear that parents today are much more similar to their children in comparison to the decades prior. Many of these parents might have even participated in the dangerous drug and alcohol behaviors that their children are going to experience in the coming months. Understanding the current substance abuse and addiction issues in colleges can help these parents prepare their children for the next stage of their lives. Alcohol abuse in college is the same as it has been for decades. College students binge drink and practice alcohol consuming behaviors that easily fall under the abuse/addiction umbrella. These are the same practices that many parents can admit to participating in, but should not share this with their children. There are a large number of parents who have even experimented with marijuana or stronger drugs. Parents should understand the drugs that are present in today’s universities. Before agreeing to a specific institution for their children parents should understand the situation they are sending their children into. Speaking to Your Soon-to-be College Kids Sending your child off to college is an exciting and emotional time for most parents. College is a stepping stone to becoming an adult. It is a place that parents reminisce about having the best time, meeting great people, their spouses and learning the tools that make them successful citizens. It is important to make sure your child understands that college, above all else, is a time for intellectual growth. If they are not able to grow in that sense they are not suited for college. Parents must prepare their kids for college by making sure they understand the difference between responsible alcohol consumption and dangerous consumption. Underage drinking will get them into trouble and most likely kicked out of school. Over-consuming alcohol will put them in dangerous situations. They should understand this and know that they can call you or a loved one or help if they need. Understanding the trends in alcohol and drug use will help parents communicate this to their children. Substance abuse education is the strongest tool to combat substance abuse and addiction. The more informed parents and their college bound children are the better prepared they are to deal with those issues in college.