Ole Miss Family Association

University of Mississippi

Help Us Continue the Dialogue of Reducing Risky Substance Use

By Erin Cromeans

College is an exciting and enriching time for students, and the University of Mississippi has an opportunity to position young adults to reach their highest potential. Sometimes, the college culture and peer assimilation regarding the use of substances can get in the way of a student’s journey to success. Your student’s health and safety is the highest priority and drives our philosophy of education and prevention. But we cannot do this alone.

So how can you help?

As the Center for Wellness Education continues to educate our students regarding high-risk substance use, we encourage you to continue the dialogue at home. Have the tough conversations about drinking and using drugs, not just once, but many times.

  • Be a positive influence in your student’s life. Talk about your values regarding underage drinking, responsible drinking and the expectations you have for your student.
  • Try not to boast about “back-in-the-day” drinking stories or dismiss binge drinking as part of the college experience. Doing so perpetuates inaccurate social norms and sends a message that you approve of breaking the law and high-risk behaviors.
  • Talk about the investment you and your student are making for the future. What is the goal of achieving a college diploma? What does it cost? Is alcohol and drug misuse worth risking the loss of your dreams for the future?
  • Communicate the crucial piece of supporting others when they need assistance, no matter how difficult or awkward the interaction may be; it is essential in our campus community.
  • Know the university’s substance use policies, and discuss the penalties for underage drinking and consequences of misusing substances on and off campus.

Each of you plays a critical role in helping students navigate college life and the dangers of high-risk substance use. If you have a student who needs help regarding their substance use, please reach out to our office for support.

Erin Cromeans is assistant director of wellness education in Department of Campus Recreation. She can be reached at wellnessedu@olemiss.edu.