While the investigation continues into the death of a student at Michigan State University, there is speculation that excessive alcohol consumption is what contributed to the woman's death.

And if that is the case, then parents everywhere should take the news as a wake-up call.

As we send our children off to college, there are a number of issues we need to discuss with them, and one is the dangers of drinking too much.

For some students, being on their own for the first time, means taking chances they might not normally take.  Celebrating their newfound autonomy can be dangerous.  For many, it's the first time they're away from home and away from the watchful eye of parents or other supervisors.  They're being left to their own devices--a responsibility many are not nearly mature enough to handle.

Alcohol on any college campus isn't hard to come by.  But with the action, must come responsibility for ourselves and for others.

If you see someone drinking too much, keep a watchful eye.  If they need medical assistance, get it for them.  Don't worry about the legal ramifications.  Get them the help they need to save their life.

Colleges like Michigan State offer information on the dangers of drinking and drugs in orientation seminars.  But is there follow up?  Do kids know where to get help if they need it?

Officials in East Lansing, at least, are looking at expanding information to include emergency numbers and resources in the event of a drug overdose or alcohol poisoning.

But nothing can replace discussions with a parent.

Join Jo Anne Paul weekdays for news updates on 99.1 WFMK-FM, 100.7 WITL-FM and 1240 WJIM-AM and the other stations of the Michigan Talk Network