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HHS HealthBeat (May 8, 2013)

The drink conversation

HHS HealthBeat: College students drinking

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

Researchers say that, when parents talk to their kids about drinking, in the summer before the kids go to college, some kids won’t drink after they arrive, and those who do drink may drink less.

At Penn State, Robert Turrisi found this in a study in which researchers mailed a handbook on how to have the conversation to parents of incoming freshmen. Turrisi says timing counts. It had to be done before college; during college had no effect:

“By giving it to them during the summer before college, you not only could have a preventative effect at escalating to heavy drinking, but you can also reverse the effects of people that are heavy drinking.”

He advises a conversation, not a lecture.

The report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: May 8, 2013