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Thread: Talking about alcohol

  1. #1

    Default Talking about alcohol

    My son is four, and clearly we have years to go before we have this discussion, but b/c I was a college student with T1 once, I am wondering how people currently talk to their kids about alcohol. I don't think my parents said much other than that I shouldn't drink at all, which I didn't follow, and I'm just wondering if things have changed. I imagine I will tell my son that if he is going to drink, to try and do it in moderation and make sure he eats something before bed b/c it is common to go low. Is this the more current approach or are many people trying to preach total abstinence?

    T1 33 years, pumping
    4 y.o. son with early onset T1

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    North Central Texas


    My approach was exactly what you describe. I imagined that total abstinence was not going to happen (especially since she was in college at the time of dx), so my suggestion was moderation and to BE SURE that appropriate snack was eaten before she went to bed. As far as I know, that is her practice.

    Actually, I believe that she discussed this scenario with her endo, who has always been understanding of her "college life" and that he gave her the same guidelines.

    I'm sure that your insulin regime must have been different when you were in college than it is for our college age students - it may have been even more difficult to adjust for the alcohol, but I'm not sure.

    She says a lot of the time, it is just not worth it, so she ends being the designated driver more than most.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Funny, we just had this discussion today with our DS as we dropped him off to college for his second semester. It is very hard; our kids are growing up. We can always second guess ourselves and our rules and restrictions, but ultimately they have to grow up. We have to lay the foundation,
    support them, and pray that it takes hold.

    We have talked about alcohol since our stay in the hospital when he was diagnosed. Our endo asked us for questions and we had many, including managing alcohol. I think we sheltered our son and hope that he did not try alcohol at 13, but felt the discussion needed to be on the table at the onset. I thought it helped, but college opens up so many temptations. It is how they handle it. Last semester was a real trial for our DS. Many lessons were learned and second chances were given. Hopefully he will remember the lessons and bolus more frequently and be the designate beer pong player, not drinker.

    My heart is in NY right now with him. I am so hopeful that he is okay and enjoys this new semester at college. It is amazing how much he has grown up from the first time we dropped him off in September, but I don't doubt there will be challenges along the way. Every phase of our children's lives give us a lump in our throats. This one is no different!
    Margaret O

    DS 19, diagnosed 4/16/2003

  4. #4


    I think it's always good to educate them

    Day After the Night Before: Influence of evening alcohol on risk of hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes
    Last edited by Ellen; 01-26-2008 at 07:47 PM.

  5. #5


    Tom had a very early object lesson...less than 3 weeks after dx. His father left a premix of screwdrivers in an OJ container in the backup fridge and Tom assumed it was straight OJ It was in the AM before the bus, and he immediately tasted the difference and spit out as much as he could (he had been trying to treat a low) but I made him stay home so I could drive him to school after I was sure there were no ill effects.

    That one event and seeing how idiotic his sister acts under the influence have left a mark. One that I am sure will be partially erased by the time he heads off to college, but he's the kind of kid who won't really forget it.

    Becky Aussi L'Autre
    Just takin' it all in.
    -T1 Dx 5/2/06 at age 13
    (MDI) CGM - G4 5/13

  6. #6


    Our team had this discussion yesterday with my 17year old. Of course in the process I found out what he's been up to lately (ok I'll plead to a little bit of having my head in the sand) They were really understanding of what kids do and just gave him and me some safety parameters and ideas (like always eat when drinking, don't bolus for alcohol, be sure someone knows you are diabetic and checks on you, alternate drinks with non alcoholic drinks, MODERATION!!!) A lot of the same things we would tell any teen - especialy the mantra that if you are going to be the designated drunk, be sure there is a designated driver.
    We have assured our son that he can call ANYTIME and we will come get him or if he catches a cab, we will always pay for it no questions asked - we will always support his taking responsibility for his actions. Luckily, he has had one bad session (luckily just a wicked hangover)so drinking doesn't hold too much appeal for him any more.

  7. #7


    What Ellen Says - educate.
    I gave Tony a fact sheet similar to the ADA one, even though he is only 15.
    I would prefer that he experiment in a safe environment rather than go out on a bender with no idea. Especially important are the facts that a hypo looks a lot like being drunk to the uninitiated, so it's best to go with someone who knows about your diabetes and can keep an eye on you. Wear ID. Also remember that alcohol impairs the liver's ability to produce glucose, so in the event of a severe hypo, you may not get a lifesaving liver dump.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ontario, Canada


    Aaron is turning 16 and this is on my mind a lot. I remember the week he was diagnosed his clinic nurse saying, "I hope you won't drink underage and I hope if you do you will tell your parents, but if you are going to drink you HAVE to come here and talk to one of us first so we can help you stay safe."

    So now he's hit the age where I know his friends are going to be drinking (You do learn some things from the first two kids!). I actually said to him last summer, "I hope you will wait until you're older, preferably legal, but if you feel that you just can't wait any longer, I want you to let us know so you can have your first drinks at home, carefully, and we can monitor what happens."

    I had mixed feelings about saying that but I really don't want his first experience with booze to be an impulsive leap into drunkenness at a party, followed by a "sleepover" at someone's house (with nobody checking) so we don't find out about it. That just gives me the willies.

    mom to Aaron, 18, dx'd Sept 05


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