College Drinking

College Drinking

Attending college can involve joining all of the heavy parties you can attend that serve alcoholic beverages when you should be studying for exams. According to a 2016 Monitoring Future Study, 81% of college students have tried alcohol at least once in their lives and 67% have been drunk. It is important that college students are aware of the consequences of drinking in college to prevent any problems that can derail your future.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that the first six weeks of freshman year is when students do heavy drinking because of student expectations and social pressures. One reason that college students drink is as a coping mechanism during stressful times. The classes you take may be tough, you still have trouble finding your surroundings, and are having trouble making new friends. College students may think the buzz from drinking may help relax them and de-stress. Another reason is to help college students loosen up at parties and to fit in better in front of a strange crowd. Alcohol can also present another distraction from your responsibilities. Instead of studying, doing homework, joining clubs, or finding a job on-campus, alcohol can present a good distraction from what needs to be done.

Drinks have easy access in college at people ages 21 and older attend college. Sporting events and social activities normally have drinks available. Drinking in college can have a lot of repercussions in that being an alcoholic means making drinking a priority over everything. The Journal of the American College Health says that one in four college students suffer academic consequences as a result of drinking. After a heavy night of partying, you can be feeling too hungover to go to class, do your homework, or study. It can cost you thousands of dollars to have to retake a class or a major if you continue to get bad grades. You will also be disappointed if getting bad grades will push back your graduation and force you to have to take more classes to make up for the damage done.

Drinking in college can also increase your chances of being physically hurt. The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs says that 1,825 college students from ages 18-24 will dies of injuries associated by intoxication like drunk driving. The higher your blood alcohol level is, the higher you are able to get minor cuts, broken bones, concussion, fractures, and muscle sprains. The Annual Review of Public Health says that 696,000 students from ages 18-24 have been sexually assaulted while under the influence.

Because alcohol can cause you to lose your inhibition, you will be more vulnerable to physical or sexual assault as you will not be able to fight back or you will pass out and not remember what happened when you wake up. By not being in control during intercourse will also mean having no control from preventing an STD, unwanted pregnancy, and suffering psychological damage for the rest of your life. Another cost of no inhibition is committing crimes that you would not commit if you were sober like vandalism, property damages, DUI, kidnapping, and homicide. This can involves the consequences of fines, probation, a suspended license, or jail time.

Physical damage can also occur from alcoholism at a young college age like liver damage, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the pancreas. Thousands are sent to the ER every year for alcohol poisoning which can suppress your nervous and respiratory systems if your body cannot get rid of the toxins when breaking down alcohol. If you do not get immediate attention, you can suffer from permanent brain damage or death.  Alcohol can also can you to develop a mental illness like anxiety or depression, making you believe you need to drink more to get rid of those symptoms. The Archives of General Psychiatry says that 20% of college students become alcoholics. If you become an alcoholic in college and do nothing to take care of it, the chances are that your problems with alcohol will follow when you graduate.

Groups like the Greek systems and student athletic programs are the ones more targeted for heavy drinking. These groups have pressures to fit in with everyone else by participating in all social activities including drinking games. College students can get scared that they can lose their placement in these groups if they do not behave exactly like the others. You have a higher chance developing a drinking problem when you live on campus compared to simply communing back and forth for classes. When living on campus, you are embracing the freedom of being on your own and not having your parents there to search your room and having to sneak cans and bottles in your room.

There needs to be more education and awareness on college campuses not just towards athletes, fraternities, and sororities but to all students. If you are on the verge of alcoholism, it is best that you take care of this now and visit your on-campus therapists or off-campus. Find pamphlets at your health care office and take a good look at them for more information. Stay away from any bars or restrict from partying no matter how much pressure you may be under to join. Remember that passing your classes should be your top priority in school and not let alcohol ruin your future.

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