Location: Bowdoin / Office of the Dean of Students / alcohol-and-drug / for-parents

Office of the Dean of Students

For Parents

Be a Partner in Preventing Alcohol Abuse

Most Bowdoin students use common sense and make responsible choices if they choose to drink.
Recent surveys tell us that almost three-quarters of students have consumed alcohol before even coming to Bowdoin and 83% drink occasionally or often while here. Two-thirds of those who choose to drink, however, do so infrequently or in moderation while one-third do so heavily (defined as five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting at least once or twice a week). Eighty-six percent agree or strongly agree that students at Bowdoin respect you if you don't drink alcohol, and 91% of students expressed a preference for being around students who drink moderately or not at all. 

As a parent you can help support students to make healthy decisions now that they are away from home. 

  • Have a conversation with your student about their alcohol and drug choices and make your expectations clear. Parental expectations have an impact on student drinking behaviors, and students don’t often bring up the topic of alcohol or drugs with their parents without being prompted.

  • Don’t use scare tactics – be straightforward and honest with your student. Nationally, many students report responding to concerns about their safety rather than legal consequences.

  • Visit the parent page of MyStudentBody. This website contains helpful information about talking with your student about alcohol and drug use

Is your student struggling with his/her alcohol use? Are his/her choices around alcohol adversely affecting them or others?

  • When students are struggling with alcohol use, Bowdoin often suggests that students take a leave from campus for a year. This leave allows students to receive the help they need and adjust to their changed relationship with alcohol before returning back to the College

  • What is addiction? Help your student by educating yourself. Find out more about addiction and recovery here.
  • Learn about how to support your student by supporting yourself. Find out more here