NH DHHS - New Hampshire Responds to Excessive Drinking and Substance Use Concerns Among College Students

Concord – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services is

proactively working to address concerns of excessive drinking and substance

use among college students with strategies included in the latest Issue

Brief, “Drinking and Substance Use Concerns among College Students,” and

the supporting publication, “Parenting Through the College Years.” The two

publications are an effort to build awareness around the dangers of high

risk drinking and other drug use among young adults, which is a national


According to research, 15% of New Hampshire college students think they may

have an alcohol problem, and that young adults in NH are more likely to use

marijuana and other illegal drugs more than any other age group. The

ramifications from this include injuries, unsafe sex, drunk driving, and

academic problems.

“The risks at college campuses here in New Hampshire are no different than

any other college campus in this country,” said DHHS’ Bureau of Drug and

Alcohol Services (BDAS) Director Joe Harding. “Not only is college a very

different culture, with opportunities to drink and drink excessively, but

young people in their late teens and early 20s tend to engage more in

risk-taking activities. Sadly, that can lead to a number of unintended

consequences, some of those with tragic endings.”

The Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services developed the Issue Brief,

“Drinking and Substance Use Concerns among College Students.” It

highlights compelling information on the health and safety risks, including

increased illnesses, accidents, housing evictions, conduct charges, police

arrests and the economic impact when a student may drop out of school due

to alcohol abuse or other drug use.

“It is so important for parents as well as students to fully understand the

harms associated with high risk drinking and drug abuse,” said New

Hampshire Higher Education and other Drug Committee (NHHEAOD) Co-Chair

Melissa Garvey. “Parents can still influence their children’s decisions

during the college years by talking to them before they head to school and

continuing the conversation during high-risk times like holidays, spring

breaks, and special events. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions,

let them know where you stand and seek help if needed.”

“Parenting Through the College Years,” was done in collaboration with BDAS

and NHHEAOD and is being mailed to parents of first-year students at a

number of NH colleges. The publication specifically encourages parents to

stay connected to their kids as they settle into campus life.

Both publications are available at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/index.htm ,

www.drugfreenh.org , www.nhcenterforexcellence.org , www.nhheaod.org , and

through counseling and health service departments at individual colleges.