Denton—It's move-in weekend for many colleges, including the University of North Texas in Denton. But as freshmen embark on their new-found freedom, experts say binge drinking can become a huge problem.
Experts at the Caron Treatment Center based in Collin County say nearly half of all college students binge drink. And that can be scary thought for parents sending their kids off to college for the first time.
University of North Texas.
"I'm excited for her cause it starts her next journey--her step along the pathway to success hopefully," sats Ron Klein.
But they do worry about the pressures she might face to party and drink while trying to get her education.
"I'm concerned a little bit but I'm also confident that I've helped her learn what the right choices are so I think she's going to," says Klein.
Alex (Klein) says her parents have always been an open book with her about drinking. (Ron) Klein says it's because of binge drinking that he did not finish college.
"I mean. I'll be honest with you," Klein says. "And to this day it's one of my regrets.”
Alex plans to avoid the partying scene because of her parents' guidance. She says her degree in forensic chemistry will keep her busy.
"With everything that they've taught me, I'm pretty sure that I can make all the right decisions," says Alex (Klein).
Executive Director of Caron Texas, Dr. Ann Miller, says binge drinking is a huge problem at colleges and universities. She says parents and students should educate themselves.
"When they're drinking and consuming lots of alcohol, you have alcohol poisoning, it's very dangerous, people die," says Dr. Miller.
But Dr. Miller says it makes sense as to why 44-percent of students partake in it.
"It's sort of like the perfect storm: no rules, lots of alcohol around, drugs as well," says Dr. Miller.
Freshmen roommates Caroline Withers and Lana Roff say they look forward to the parties.
"You always hear about college parties and stuff and people are always excited and stuff to get there and be free, have freedom to do so," says Roff.
But both say they do not binge drink.
"You just kind of have to find your line of balance between partying and what you actually came here to do," says Withers.
"We pretty much know our limit," says Withers. "Yeah. We do. We know our limits now," says Roff.
The Kleins are confident the guidance they've given Alex will continue leading her down the right path as she starts the next chapter of her life.
"Sometimes it's just the support the kids need to make the right choices," says Klein.
Dr. Miller says the most dangerous part of binge drinking is the potential to black-out. She believes that research and education is key to prevention.