I've just recently caught up on this show, so I'm a couple of years behind the original air date for this episode.
It wasn't the strongest episode in the season, mainly because the intentions of the parent far outweighed her actual parenting skills and that was painfully obvious as the episode unfolded. This episode DID paint a realistic picture of binge drinking kids (and it starts in highschool most of the time). What the episode failed to point out is that the girl was only 19 years old at the time it was filmed, and as far as I know, that means she was not just binge-drinking but also UNDERAGE drinking- and that's illegal. This would've been a good thing to point out to her- that she's breaking the law just to "have fun".
I think it would've been a far more effective show if the mom had been required to follow the spoiled brat around and match her drink-for-drink. Maybe then the kid would've seen just how pathetic she is. I can't believe some of the things that came out of her mouth (and I did my own fair share of partying in college)...she sounded like an over-priveleged, under-parented, self-indulgent waste of educational resources.
"I drink to get drunk." (hello...you are an Alcoholic!)
"I drink heavily at least 4 days a week." (hello...Alcoholic!)
"I don't get sick anymore when I drink a lot" (hello...Tolerance is an indication of an addiction to a substance)
"I don't worry about that stuff" (in response to her mother's concerns about date rape drugs, unsafe sex, etc.)
"Don't talk to me about this stuff, you are just going to make me mad." (rude and disrespectful and btw, anger is a form of denial)
"I'm not an alcoholic" (almost the very first sentence out of her mouth...Denial is not just a river in Egypt.)
All this girl did was show the viewers what we are all afraid of...that today's college kids are living life in the very bottom of a liquor bottle, taking uneccessary risks, putting other people in harm's way, and wasting the gifts they've been given. And they don't seem to give a damn.
I liked the suggestion made by another reviewer. Create a contract with your college student. Are they going to party? Talk to them about being responsible, designating a driver, learning their own limits, etc. But if they start flunking out of school... they are on their own, paying their own way through school. No more free rides if you are just going to drink it away.
No one values their education more than those of us who had to work for it.
And no one values their life more than those of us who have watched friends DIE because they behaved EXACTLY like the girl in this episode! I lost 5 friends between highschool and college to alcohol and drug-related incidents. Believe me when I say I'll be talking to my own children about how to be respectful and responsible.
And I hope this girl finally realized what was so painfully obvious to anyone who watched her on TV:
Jessica, you ARE an alcoholic.