University of California, Santa Barbara

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Alcohol and Other Drugs

Alcohol has been a part of college and university life since the first colleges were founded and remains to this day the substance most abused by college students. At UCSB, the 2010 Prevention Research Center (PRC) survey indicates that while most UCSB students choose to drink alcohol (80%), about 20% of students choose not to drink. About half of UCSB students drink in moderation when they choose to drink, but the other half report binge drinking in the previous two weeks. This means that some UCSB students sometimes engage in high risk drinking—drinking that increases the risk of negative legal, physical, personal and/or academic consequences.

UCSB is deeply concerned about excessive drinking as well as the use of controlled substances by our students. Consequently, your student will receive information about alcohol and other drugs throughout the academic year. Alcohol and drug abuse prevention is a job the University cannot perform alone. We need the involvement and the support of parents. Please talk with your student about your expectations regarding drug and alcohol use. Although your student is not likely to bring up the topic, he or she will listen if you talk. You may not even get a response, but research shows that students pay attention when their parents talk about alcohol and drugs. It is surprising how often we hear “My parents think...” or “My parents say...” when students are talking with each other or with University staff about these issues.

Even if you believe your son or daughter does not drink or does not drink to excess, it is important that you talk about alcohol and drugs. In this past year, approximately 50 students died in alcohol-related incidents nationally. For more information please check out the Talking about Alcohol and Other Drugs Section.

Additional Resources:

Drug Guide for Parents