New School Year, New Drinking Habits
The start of a new school year can initiate a variety of things – new friends, new living facilities, new college or university, new experiences, and of course, new habits.
During these developmental years of a young adult’s life, they will begin to determine what kind of people they want to be associated with and what type of habits they will develop.
Sadly, the college environment known as the “college experience” typically involves alcohol consumption and binge drinking. Accessibility of alcohol, peer influence, and new stressors often lead to alcohol consumption by new college students.
What are Some College Drinking Statistics?
- About four out of five college students drink alcohol. (NCADD)
- Of those partaking in alcohol consumption, 25% admit that their drinking habits have caused them to experience academic hindrances, which in turn, often lead to future problems of addiction and depression. (NIAAA)
- Over 1,825 students die each year due to alcohol-related incidents. (NIAAA)
- Tragically, over 150,000 students experience health problems caused by their alcohol consumption habits. Many of these students resort to other drugs to relieve the stress brought on by their drinking habits, many even resorting to suicide. (NIAAA)
- Approximately 1.5% of college students admit that their drug or alcohol abuse problem has led to a suicide attempt within the past year. (NIAAA)
- Nearly half of the 5.4 million American college students admit to using drugs, or drinking at least once each month. (CASA)
- Research shows that each day, 100 Americans die from drug or alcohol overdose. (SAMSHA)
Unfortunately, since alcohol consumption has become a common part of the college experience, it often becomes more difficult to detect if someone has an alcohol abuse issue.
Those who partake in binge drinking typically drink less times each week than a “heavy” drinker, but consume more alcoholic beverages in any single given time.
A heavy drinker is referred to as someone who consumes alcohol on a regular basis, ranging from about 8-15 drinks or more per week.
What are Common Symptoms of Alcoholism?
- Inability to limit alcohol consumption
- Strong impulses to consume alcohol
- Tolerance to alcohol leading to heavier alcohol consumption
- Drinking alone
- Physical withdrawal symptoms include: nausea, shaking, sweating, irritability
- Several evenings of being “blacked out”
- Irritability when questioned about drinking habits
- Storing alcohol at home, in your car, or at work
- Legal troubles
- Difficulty maintaining relationships (friends, family, and intimate relationships)
- Loss of interest in activities that used to be pleasurable to you
- Financial problems
New to the college experience, it is important to keep eye on a college student’s behavioral and drinking habits and tendencies. It isn’t always easy to detect, especially since they may be far from home. Changes are normal as teenagers progress into adulthood and many changes are the result of maturing and experiencing new people and places.
Moodiness, depression, and erratic behavior might be signs that something is wrong. Always keep an open line of communication, be supportive, and ask if something seems out of character. Discovering a problem early is the best chance of heading it off before it becomes more serious.
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