When starting a discussion about alcohol/drugs, remember to ask open-ended questions and avoid questions that can have a yes/no answer. Show respect by listening completely before responding; this will show your student you are treating him or her like an adult. Make positive comments about your student’s responsible choices. Be direct. Ambiguity can lead to mixed messages. Control your emotions and speak in a calm, relaxed voice.

Prior to starting college:

  • You will be faced with the decision to drink in excess at some point. What do you think your reaction will be?
  • Did you learn anything at Orientation about the drinking culture of Ball State?
  • What are you most nervous about when making new friends at Ball State?
  • You’ll have a lot of decisions to make in college and you might even make some mistakes. Just know that you can talk to me about anything–even if you do make a mistake. I won’t freak out. But you will be expected to handle the consequences like an adult.

Once college has begun:

  • How are you and your roommate getting along? Do you have similar styles in what you do for fun?
  • What is the culture there? Is it heavily focused on alcohol and drugs?
  • Have you witnessed anyone make a fool of themselves while drinking; what was that like? Did you or other students intervene to help the student? 
  • Tell me about your new friends. Do any of them dabble in drugs at all? How do you feel about that?
  • Do you know where to go for help if you or a friend is having issues with alcohol?