Alcohol Abuse in College
After graduating high school, many students go on to universities to further pursue their educations.
If there’s one theme besides academics when it comes to college, it’s probably “partying.” Whether it’s a party at a fraternity or sorority house, on or off campus, you can be assured there will be some underage drinking going on. While partying has long been seen as a rite of passage to college life, a host of problems can be directly associated with the alcohol abuse that occurs at parties.
According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 drank alcohol in the past month, and almost 2 out of 3 of them engaged in binge drinking during that same time frame.
Binge drinking occurs when a person consumes a large amount of alcohol in short period, causing their blood alcohol concentration to spike quickly. This practice can lead to severe consequences, including alcohol poisoning, which can cause permanent brain damage and even death. Other repercussions of alcohol abuse in college include alcohol-related unintentional injuries, motor vehicle accidents, physical altercations, and sexual assaults. Research published by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence shows that about 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
In addition to the possible consequences to personal health and well-being, alcohol abuse in college leads to poor academic scores.
Students abusing alcohol are more likely to miss classes, fall behind in curriculum, and earn lower test scores. The bottom line is that college students who participate in alcohol abuse perform at an inferior level and can find themselves in trouble with their academics. Other ramifications of alcohol abuse in college are the potential for unsafe sex, driving under the influence, and involvement with police over any number of types of misconduct.
Most college students are going to drink from time to time. While it is possible for students to balance their academics and their social lives successfully, not everyone can do so. If you are concerned about yourself or a friend, don’t hesitate to talk to someone. There are resources available on many campuses and on the web.
College Drinking. (2015). National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Retrieved February, 2017.
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