We have changed our name from the NEW TRADITION COALITION to DRAW THE LINE LAWRENCE so it better fits our purpose and mission. We call on all community members to come together and DRAW THE LINE on underage drinking and drug use for a healthier and safer place to live.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Who is on The New Tradtion Coalition?
Behind all those names on the right is a wealth of local, Lawrence expertise. We will help you find research based answers. Our knowledge can lead to your power as a parent and concerned member of our community. Go ahead and ask! Post your question in the comment section below. You can sign in with your name or, comment anonomously.


Anonymous said...

My 21 year old is living at home to save money while finishing college. When he first moved in we noticed lots of beer cans in the trash and made it clear that it was not going to be ok to sit in the basement and drink all afternoon. Recently, discovered he has started drinking again, but now very late at night and hiding the evidence. I'm worried he may have developed a drinking problem while away at school. What should I do?

dash said...

To Anonymous:
All I have to go on is what you have given me so here goes! I am concerned when I read your description of your son’s behavior. Yes, he is 21 and can legally drink, so that is not the issue. Here are some things that leap off the page at me. 1) It sounds as though your son was living away from home while attending college and then moved back…was that to save YOU money or HIM? If you, the parents, are paying for all expenses for college then you have the right to ask him to chip in by working a part-time job, etc. If he is doing that and choosing to spend a substantial amount of money earned (you said “lots of beer cans”) on alcohol, then he may be contributing more to his drinking than to you. If on the other hand he is paying for college and financially got in over his head, and moved back home to cut expenses, then again, he now has more discretionary money to spend on alcohol rather than education/housing/food etc. ALL financial information needs to be “on the table” when a young adult moves back home and is being subsidized by parents. 2) There are numerous red flags about his drinking behavior, as you describe it. The bottom line is, if he can choose to quit or reduce his drinking to no more than one-two drinks a day but does not, he is either choosing to drink more (to deal with stress, etc) or struggles when trying to drink less, due to a drinking problem. If he does not now have a drinking problem, he is making one more likely by heavy, frequent drinking. There is much too much here to address in this format so on to my last remark. 3) You asked “What should I do?” My response is “What are you WILLING to do?” I would strongly urge you to schedule an appointment to visit with a counselor at one of our local alcohol/drug resources. Be as honest as you possibly can, don’t minimize or exaggerate your son’s behaviors and find out more about alcoholism and the early warning signs. Learn how to talk with your son about your concerns, how to set boundaries with him, and how to follow through with consequences (for example, you might decide to tell your son that you are concerned and cannot in good conscience subsidize his drinking in any way; if he continues, he will have to agree to an alcohol/drug assessment and to follow any recommendations that are made by the assessor if he wishes to continue living in your home or having any financial support from you). Threatening consequences that you are not willing to actually enact will compound the problem. I applaud you for not wanting to enable your son in developing or worsening a drinking problem. Get more information, and thanks for your question!