Alcohol on College CampusesStatistics for the 2012-13 school year show that for the first time in many years serious alcohol related problems has risen among college students in the United States.
- Over 100,000 cases of date rape and sexual abuse, involving alcohol were reported on college campuses.
- Over 700,000 alcohol related injuries were reported
- Over 2,000 deaths related to alcohol were identified
- Kids that start drinking before the age of 15 are four times more likely to develop alcoholism that those who wait until adulthood.
- Alcohol consumption increases the risk of liver cancer
- Alcohol consumption increases the risk for mouth cancer, esophageal cancer and GI tract cancer
Alcoholism is often referred to as the disease of isolation because the alcoholic often begins by feeling socially isolated. They go to parties and gatherings and drink as a way to break the ice or to lessen the anxiety that comes with being in a new environment without a support system.
College students are known for their use of alcohol to break down social barriers including hazing, drinking games and self medicating for shyness or stress. For students who are away from home or who have few friends alcohol can feel like the great equalizer.
45% of college students questioned in 2012 admitted to binge drinking. Few understand that binge drinking is deadly. Women in particular do not have all of the enzymes that men have that allows them to metabolize alcohol. Consequently women become intoxicated faster than men regardless of size. Although alcoholism is on the rise in the United States it is clear that outside of the U.S., particularly in Western Europe, where alcohol is encouraged and is allowed for use in family settings, alcoholism among high school and college students is off the charts.
A recent study has shown that of all the different types of alcohol treatment programs offered on college campuses, AA by far has the best results. Buddy systems such at going to parties with someone who did not consume any alcohol and who agreed to monitor your alcohol consumption was shown be be somewhat effective in preventing DUI and alcohol related injuries.
Prevention and Help
- Never have more than 5 servings of alcohol within a short period of time.
- If you are with someone who has been drinking and they pass out, call 911 immediately. Alcohol poisoning is real and it kills. Never send the person to sleep it off. They may not wake up.
- Never engage in games that require you to consume more alcohol than the recommended amount.