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Halloween parties may lead to excessive drinking

Nick Hayes

Special to the Village News

Many college campuses maintain unique decades-long Halloween traditions on campus. Some of these attractions draw students and neighbors from across the state. While many college traditions emphasize inclusion, engagement, and creativity, others can promote heavy drinking and partying.

Halloween parties are big tickets in many states. Yet, like with anything else, it’s a good idea to know the risks associated with heavy drinking and recreational drug use. It’s also good for parents to understand how to communicate their concerns and have available resources.

Unfortunately, many college alcohol and drug problems are related to binge drinking. These problems impact students, their families, and college communities. Binge drinking can lead to assault, sexual assault, academic issues, and alcohol or drug addiction.

In California, 10.5% of young adults ages 18 to 25 had an alcohol use disorder in the past year, while 8.5% became addicted to illicit drugs. This is not to say that every student attending Halloween parties becomes addicted or experiences a negative situation.

It’s essential to know the potential risks. Parents should be having these conversations with their adult children. Avoid lecturing, threatening, or using scare tactics, and engage in two-way conversations – be a reliable source of factual information.

Help them understand that some choices have consequences that can potentially be severe or life-changing. Communicate to them about making responsible decisions and choices and show them how to avoid dangerous situations.

Be prepared to share personal experiences and tips to avoid peer pressure. College social life and everything that comes with it should be enjoyable.

Fortunately, there are resources for students who could be struggling. Parents and students should become familiar with campus advocacy groups, which are student-led groups, many of which are specific to mental health and addiction.

Campus mental health centers are available on college campuses, providing many services to students. In addition, there are likely counseling and disability centers in nearly every university and college in the country. Finally, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, usually operates on campus.

Halloween allows college students to get creative and let loose, providing relief from studying. Yet, be smart, make good choices, and look out for one another.

Nick Hayes is a healthcare professional in the field of substance abuse and addiction recovery. He strives to provide current, up-to-date facts about drug and alcohol abuse to his readers. His primary focus is spreading awareness by educating individuals on the topics surrounding substance abuse.

 

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