Talking with College Students About Alcohol

Parent handbook

Alcohol Handbook - English

The transition from high school to college is an exciting time for both students and family members. Students are away from home for the first time and are learning to navigate their newfound freedom while also balancing their academics, activities, social lives, health, and wellness.  

We encourage you to have ongoing, open conversations with your students about what they expect their experiences at college will be like and what those experiences are actually like. One of the most difficult conversations is concerning alcohol use. Having family conversations before students arrive on campus can help prevent and minimize negative outcomes related to alcohol use and abuse, which is something both family members and staff care deeply about.  

This handbook is intended to help ease your fears and provide you with guidance on how to have effective conversations with your students about alcohol use. Brought to you by the Dean of Students Office Parent and Family Programs, it has been tested at many universities and is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

These materials are being provided to Iowa State University parents based on an agreement between Iowa State University and the Parent-Teen Partnership. Any individuals or groups interested in using the materials outside of this agreement should contact Robert Turrisi directly at