You are our greatest partner in prevention!

College can be a very exciting time for students as they move away from home and become more independent. However, your influence as parents is still vital as students move through their time at Binghamton and we want to partner with you to ensure their health, safety and well-being.

Starting the conversation

It is important for you to talk to your student about your expectations, beliefs and values about drinking, class attendance and staying in touch. For freshmen in particular, the first six weeks of the semester is a vulnerable time because of: 

  • the availability of alcohol
  • the absence of parents
  • and a desire to fit in.

These factors add up to potentially risky behavior.

We encourage you to stay in close contact with your student throughout the year. Speak honestly about your own experiences and opinions. Be careful not to glamorize any past use of alcohol or other drugs. As you open up, so will your student. Ask questions rather than lecture.

  • What is your plan for the weekend?
  • Who will you be with and where are you going?
  • Who will you contact if you need help?

We communicate several messages about the connection between alcohol and bad choices (including violence, sexual assault and academic failure) to students throughout the academic year. We encourage you to help us reinforce these messages.

Risk Reduction

We prefer that underage students don't drink alcohol, but we want them to be prepared if they choose to drink. Teaching students risk-reduction strategies can go a long way in preventing high-risk drinking and its negative effects. You and your family can help us reinforce these key ideas:

  • Predetermine how many drinks you'll have.
  • Designate a driver/have a plan.
  • Eat food before/during drinking.
  • Pace your drinks. Don't try to keep up with or out-drink someone.
  • Sip your drink. Don't chug it.
  • Have no more than one drink per hour.
  • Avoid "mega" drinks - Long Island Iced Tea, kamikazes, margaritas: each contains five or more times the alcohol of a standard drink.
  • Avoid drinking games or drinking anything mixed in a punch bowl, trough or funnel.
  • Avoid shots.
  • Never leave your drink unattended.
  • Alternate non-alcohol drinks/drink water.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with any other drugs, including caffeine.
  • Stay with your friends/watch out for each other.
  • Use caution when sick or tired.

What is alcohol poisoning?

Alcohol poisoning is the dangerous result of consuming too much alcohol over a short period of time. If you drink too much alcohol too quickly, it can be life-threatening. Alcohol poisoning can affect anyone, no matter a person's alcohol tolerance, weight, age or gender.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning:

Remember that a person does not need to show ALL of these signs to have alcohol poisoning. If you are unsure... call for help.

  • confusion or disorientation
  • vomiting
  • hypothermia
  • inability to stay conscious
  • cold/clammy skin
  • lack of physical coordination
  • inability to walk
  • irregular pulse
  • depressed breathing
  • seizures
  • blue- or gray-tinged skin, especially around the lips or under the fingernails

Good Samaritan Law

In cases of alcohol and drug intoxication, our primary concern is the health and safety of the individual(s) involved. No student seeking medical treatment for an alcohol or other drug-related overdose or other life-threatening medical emergency, for themselves or a friend, will be subject to discipline for the sole violation of using or possessing alcohol or drugs.