NYU is committed to providing a safe, healthy environment in which your student can thrive. One of the most widely publicized health and safety issues on U.S. college campuses is the practice of “binge” — high-risk — drinking. There are numerous harms associated with binge drinking such as injury, violence, alcohol poisoning, and instances of unwanted and/or unprotected sex. These are realities that campuses deal with on a daily basis. 

What We Do

The Student Health Center works closely with campus and community partners to develop programs and initiatives that encourage students to make safer, smarter choices about alcohol use, and we strive to help shape the University into an environment that supports those healthier choices. We also strongly support students who choose not to drink, and students in recovery. 

The Wellness Exchange is available 24/7/365 for students dealing with challenges around alcohol from addiction, to peer pressure, to a specific night’s events. Students can simply call the hotline. The number is on the back of all NYU I.D. cards.

Incoming first-year students are required to complete an online course about alcohol. The course provides students with information about high-risk drinking behaviors and associated harms, including tools for planning and hosting safer social gatherings. Over the summer, your student will receive
an email with more information, instructions and a timeline to complete the course. We ask for your support in encouraging compliance.

NYU’s campuses around the world have access to a wide array of social and cultural experiences, many of which do not rely on alcoholic beverages. NYU initiatives such as Programs and Activities Without Substances — in NYC — encourage social events that aren’t focused around drinking. 

The University’s Policy

Although local laws outside the U.S. vary, NYU prohibits consumption of alcohol on any of its campuses by students under the age of 21. NYU also does not tolerate the use of any illegal drugs. Read NYU’s Substance Abuse and Alcoholic Beverages policy.

What You Can Do

Initiate a dialogue about alcohol and other drugs. You are the primary influence in your student’s life, so we urge you to participate in efforts to educate your student about alcohol use. It is a myth that “everyone” in college drinks. People engaging in high-risk drinking are often much more visible than those not engaging in that behavior. If your student chooses not to drink or to do so moderately, they will find that many of their peers take a similar approach. 

Talk to your student directly and explicitly about your expectations around:

High-risk drinking is common during the first six weeks of a student’s college career. We encourage you to check in with your student frequently during this time. You may want to ask: 

  • What do you do to relieve stress?
  • What is the party scene like, and how are you navigating it? If your student indicates that “everyone drinks,” or if you think that your student is engaging in binge drinking, reinforce your expectations and voice supportive concern.

Know what risk reduction is and encourage your student to practice it. Although abstinence is the safest choice, your student should be informed of risk reduction approaches such as: alternating water with alcoholic beverages, eating before drinking, drinking no more than one standard-sized drink per hour* and using the buddy system with friends to keep each other safe.
*1 drink equals: 12 oz. beer or; 4 oz. wine or; 1.5 oz. liquor

You and your student can find information about Alcohol and Other Drugs, and a list of resources on the Student Health Center’s Health Information Library online.

Two good sources of information on college students and alcohol use are: collegedrinkingprevention.gov and rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov

On-Campus Resources at NYU:

NYU Wellness Exchange



(212) 443-9999

Counseling and Wellness Services



(212) 998-4780