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Daily interviews with a local focus airing at 8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Northland Morning.

Use your words. Why you have to talk about it.

Elliot Reyna

Just think of it like ordering pizza.

For college students - and if we're honest, for a lot of people - it's easier to think of spending the night with someone than having a conversation about it beforehand.

But the first six weeks of college are considered "the red zone": where young people who may be navigating unfamiliar situations are at an increased risk of - among other things - alcohol poisoning and sexual assault.

Lauretta Perry is UMD's Drug and Alcohol Educator. She says these conversations are difficult, in part, because we never see them modeled anywhere. But she says no one would order a pizza for family, friends, or even a new acquaintance without first, deciding you both want pizza, and then second, talking about what each of you like on your slice.

It's a way of looking out for yourself and your partner, independent of gender or sexual identity, and it's part of moving toward healthy boundaries and away from toxic silence.

Lisa Johnson has been a broadcast journalist for 41 years ... and a radio announcer for a teensy bit longer.
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