Selfies of drunken, wasted students are alarming to any parent preparing to send a budding adult off to college. But experts say that those images convey a false idea about many young people\u2019s experiences and that parents influence college drinking more than they may think. If your teen or young adult child is struggling with alcohol abuse, it's vital to get treatment as soon as possible. Contact Promises Behavioral Health today to learn more.\u00a0 What \u201cPre-Drinking\u201d Is and What It Can Do to Young People The National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism\u2019s program to combat college drinking said in a 2002 report that while binge and problem drinking have increased, overall drinking hasn\u2019t. And the number of college students who don\u2019t ever drink has also increased, from 15 percent to 19 percent. Believe it or not, young people still seek the approval of their parents, says Brown University research fellow Shannon R. Kenney, PhD. She\u2019s examined student alcohol use, particularly through research,\u201d at Loyola Marymount University and now at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Pre-drinking, or \u201cpre-partying,\u201d is simply consuming alcohol at home before going to a party or bar. In teens, it\u2019s driven by either a lack of ability to drink legally at a public location or by a need to spend less on booze. But it\u2019s a particularly problematic manner of drinking, research has found. Pre-drinkers on average consume three more drinks per event than do drinkers who consume alcohol only at the pub, or only at home but not at the bar, according to the findings published in November 2012 in the journal Addiction: Clinical and Experimental Research. The study found that the risk of at least one adverse outcome occurring on a night of pre-drinking was 23.8 percent, compared to 13.9 percent on nights of only on-premise drinking and 12 percent on nights of only off-premise drinking. Immediate risks from problem drinking include perilous driving, property damage and potentially lethal alcohol poisoning, but researchers have also observed long-term consequences, such as sporadic class attendance and lower grade point average. How Parents Influence College Drinking Positively It\u2019s important for parents to act early. Specialists urge talking to your children as early as junior high school to convey the dangers, and your disapproval, of their drinking. And they urge parents or guardians to make it clear that, despite their perceptions of what their peers are doing, far fewer people their age drink \u2014or drink as much \u2014 as they might assume. As youths get older, parents should try interventions that involve skills to avoid alcohol \u2014 or, for some teens, to at least drink less \u2014 and to help students more safely navigate the social settings of college. Prevention efforts might include teaching students to slow the rate of drinking and not to pre-drink. Research indicates that students who perceive their parents to be more disapproving of heavy drinking drink less than peers who perceive greater parental approval, Dr. Kenney said. \u201cWhen parents communicate more permissive attitudes toward underage drinking, for example, parents who drink with adolescent children or allow children to drink in their home, children drink more frequently and heavily,\u201d she said. Talking Points for Parents The ideal, of course, is that adults won\u2019t drink until they\u2019re 25 \u2014 the minimum age when the brain is considered fully developed \u2014 or that they at least drink moderately in the safety of their homes. But experts say it\u2019s unrealistic to expect relatively new drinkers to stop altogether. That doesn\u2019t mean that parents shouldn\u2019t warn against it and educate their teens about the perils, particularly of pre-drinking. The following information is important for parents and guardians to convey: \tPre-drinking will increase intoxication and risk for dangerous or regrettable, even humiliating, behavior. \tIdentifying a reliable, sober driver before the event can prevent property damage and legal consequences \u2014 and even save lives. \tPacing can reduce the speed at which blood alcohol content rises, and adding a glass of water between each alcoholic drink will do the same \u2014 plus help avoid hangovers and reduce the chances of alcohol poisoning. And giving young people a correct picture of their peer behavior can help reduce drinking, experts say. The truth about young adults and drinking is this: Whatever they think people their age are drinking, the reality is almost always that fewer peers are imbibing. Contact Our Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center At Promises Behavioral Health, we strive to help young adults and adolescents who are struggling with alcohol addiction. We offer a range of helpful therapy programs, such as: \tCognitive-behavioral therapy \tDialectical behavioral therapy \tYoga therapy \tArt therapy \tGroup therapy To learn more about how parents influence college drinking, contact Promises Behavioral Health today at .