Alcoholism on Campus

Alcoholism on Campus

by Patrick Start
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When we enter college, there are a plethora of unanswered questions we ask ourselves. What is it going to be like; what will my professors be like; how will the environment be different than high school and how will I cope with the common anxieties of tests, quizzes and possibly a final thesis? Many of us have our coping mechanisms. Mine, for example, was coffee and cigarettes. Not only did they keep me up 14 hours a night through college, they also put me in a bad place health-wise.

Students in college and university often turn to alcohol to “take the edge off”. With high stress and expectations, socially and academically, alcohol can seem like a good idea. However, it can lead to further dependence that becomes more than just substance abuse; it becomes a physical dependence that we call alcoholism.[1][2] Students that are also below the age of 19 (18 in some provinces) are at risk legally, too.

Where the drinking begins can be a tough question. Individuals could have begun drinking before college which would leave them more susceptible to alcoholism in college and later in life. Regardless, many students tend to drink because of their environment; many colleges have gatherings for faculties and if their colleagues drink they might too, as means of alleviating any type of social stigma.

Although most students drink socially, it can still have adverse effects on physical and mental health and be attributed to poor academic performance.[3] As the need for alcohol increases, it becomes more of a behavioral issue and can result in expulsion from school. Many college students who binge drink in college learn to drink in moderation after college. However there are a few students who, after finishing college continue to drink to the point of alcoholism, where it becomes a treatable disease.[4]

In essence, once of legal age, moderate alcohol consumption on campus is fine. A beer here and there will do you no trouble. You don’t need to drink an entire keg to fit in. You don’t want to risk the safety of yourself and others. Just remember to stay safe and drink responsibly!


[1] http://www.cehd.umn.edu/fsos/projects/alcohol/whydrink.asp

[2] http://healthland.time.com/2012/05/14/dsm-5-could-mean-40-of-college-students-are-alcoholics/

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertglatter/2014/03/11/update-on-binge-drinking-among-college-students-from-bad-to-worse/

[4] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-high-functioning-alcoholic/200906/why-some-phase-out-college-binge-drinking-and-others-are

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