The Safety, Environment and Education Center (Department of Student Life)

Resources for Parents

Here is an informative booklet from

It is critical for parents to know and understand the trends and the culture surrounding alcohol and drugs as they prepare to send their students to the University of Tennessee. Communication with your student is key for his/her success. 

What Can Parents Do?

Many times it can be difficult for parents and young adults to have a conversation about alcohol and other drugs (AOD). However, having conversations with your student is vital so that they know your beliefs, attitudes, and values as they related to AOD use.

Below are a few suggestions as to what you can do now and how to get the conversation going with your student about AOD topics.

What you can do right now:

To start a conversation with your student, try asking the following questions:

If your student intends not to drink, ask:

How to continue the conversation about alcohol and drugs:

How Students are Enabled to Make High Risk Choices

Enabling is any response made to someone's high risk choices that allows the individual to keep making those choices without much sense of risk. There are a variety of ways that students are enabled to use alcohol and other drugs, many are very discreet. Parents, faculty, staff, and peers can all play a role in enabling students’ high-risk choices without being conscious of the impact of their actions. Therefore, we all have the responsibility and challenge to create an environment where low-risk choices are the norm, and to engage in open dialogue about AOD. It is important to be aware of the messages that you are sending to your student. Beware of enabling behaviors which include:

See the New Students & Family Programs for more information on parental involvement.

Information adapted from:
College Parents of America, Phoenix House, The University Health Center


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