Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy campus community that fosters growth and achievement in our students. In keeping with this commitment, the Division of Student Development works closely with faculty, academic leaders and others, to foster a campus culture which emphasizes responsible decision-making as it relates to alcohol and drugs.

Parents & families can also help support responsible decision-making regarding alcohol and drugs by having conversations with your student about alcohol and drugs.  Here's some helpful hints.

Parents need to recognize that college students, especially first-year students, are at a significantly higher risk for alcohol-related problems than almost any other population.


  1. Ask the hard questions about alcohol use and abuse.
    Here are some questions you can use as a guide.
    • How will you decide whether or not to drink at college?
    • What will you do if you find yourself at a party with only alcohol to drink?
    • What will you do if your roommate only wants to drink and party?
    • What will you do if you find a student passed out in the bathroom?
    • How will you handle it if you are asked to baby-sit someone who is very drunk?
  2. Set clear and realistic expectations regarding academic performance and the use of alcohol.
    Stay in close contact with your student during the first six weeks of classes when your student is most vulnerable.
    Partying has a direct impact on a student's academic work and students don't want to disappoint their parents. If your student knows you expect sound academic work, he or she may be more likely to devote time to daily studies, and less time getting in trouble with alcohol.
  3. Make sure your student knows the legal penalties for underage drinking, using a fake ID, public intoxication, and DUI.
  4. Stress to your student that drinking alcohol to the point of impairment or intoxication is risky.
  5. Examine your own values and behavior and the messages you send regarding alcohol and other drugs.
    Examine your family history and the messages your family sends. Refrain from "glorifying" alcohol related stories from your college days.
  6. Encourage them to stand up for their right to a safe academic environment.
    Students who don't drink can still be affected by students that do. Encourage your student to deal with alcohol related problems like interrupted study time or unwanted sexual advances by directly confronting the person or the problem. They can also enlist the help of Residence Hall staff.
  7. Encourage them to intervene when classmates or roommates are in trouble with alcohol.
    If they see someone passed out or unconscious, they should get help by calling 911, or contacting residence hall staff immediately.
  8. Know where to go for help.
    Let your student know that you may not have all the answers to their questions about alcohol and other drugs, but you will be willing to find out. If you suspect that your student is having problems at college, please encourage them to seek help at the following on-campus locations: Counseling Center, Health Center/Services Alcohol Education/Health Promotions Office Housing Office/Hall Director's Office Your student may also talk to his or her academic advisor for assistance.
  9. Signs of that may indicate Alcohol or Drug Use Problems:
    Missing or skipping classes (or classroom assignments) or a drop in academic performance. Frequent requests for more money to cover expenses, or taking a second job. Moodiness, defensiveness, or silence when you try to talk to him/her about school.

Below are some additional resources that may help:

Student Health & Counseling Alcohol & Drug Education

What Every Parent Needs to Know Brochure

What Parents Need to Know About College Drinking Brochure

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Fall Semester-A Time for Parents to Revisit Discussions About College Drinking