DEAR ABBY: My 19-year-old daughter is in her sophomore year of college and doing well. The problem is, I believe that she is a "binge" drinker and going downhill. I am trying to make her go to counseling and AA, but I'm not sure she will. She is currently attending a local junior college, but will finish in May.
She wants me to send her to a university about two hours away from home. I just do not think I should, because even though she's under my supervision right now, she still gets into trouble with drinking. I can't imagine what she would do without any adult supervision.
She says she needs to get away from the "bad influence" of her friends here. I believe that if she goes, she will find new "bad influence" friends and still not have the common sense to not drink so much.
I am not being an overprotective mother. I just spent the night in the emergency room with her because she had alcohol poisoning. -- WORRIED ABOUT MY DAUGHTER IN TEXAS
DEAR WORRIED: It appears you are worried about your daughter for good reason. However, it's time to face up to the fact that a parent can protect her child for only so long. If a near-death experience from alcohol poisoning hasn't taught her that she should not have more than two drinks in an evening, there is little more you can do.
I do have a suggestion, however. Make a deal with her. If she gets a job and goes to AA for one year, you will then allow her to go away to finish her education. By then, she will understand what a serious problem drinking can be -- and have some tools to avoid it. I can't guarantee that it will keep her sober, but it would be a start.