Drinking in college has always been a serious problem. Hundreds — if not thousands of cases have already been filed in police reports that students were under the influence of alcohol for drunk driving, drunk and disorderly and public intoxication.  Intoxication in college has already been deemed as somewhat of a ritual in our modern society. Many Australian students have a drinking habit, and college environment worsen the problem. According to an Australian survey of 25,000 school age (12-17 year old) students, 74 per cent had already had a drink with nearly half having been drunk.  By the time they get to college or university drinking is already an ongoing habit.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALCOHOL AND UNDERAGE DRINKING IN COLLEGE

Alcoholic Inebriation affects college students and their families, friends, the school and the whole community itself. Research indicates that each year:

  • DEATH

Nationally, alcohol leads to major cases of injury, cancer and death. More than 3,000 deaths per year are caused by excessive consumption of alcohol and about 5,000 users end up with chronic cancer due to long term alcohol abuse.  Alcohol has been linked to liver cancer, breast cancer and esophageal cancer. Excessive alcohol use is the has led up to 81,000 hospitalizations annually. Between 2004 and 2005, a survey concluded  that the price  of alcohol on the Australian community was up to A$15billion. 

  • ASSAULT AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

When it comes to assaults that involve alcohol,  Australian research has estimated that between a 1/4 and 3/4 of all assaults are due to alcohol consumption. According to a survey in New South Wales, around two-thirds of people presenting at emergency departments with injuries from physical violence are reported having consumed alcohol prior to the occasion and three-quarters of these patients stated that they had been drinking at licensed premises.

ACADEMIC ISSUES

 1 out of 4 college students report academic repercussion from drinking alcohol— this includes missing their classes, falling behind in class, failing on their exams and papers, receiving lower overall grades. Binge drinkers who consumed alcohol 3 times per week were roughly 6 times more likely to do poorly on a test or project as a result of binge drinking rather than those who drink but do not binge.

 

  • ASPECTS AFFECTING STUDENTS WHO DRINKS ALCOHOL

While most students who come to university already have some experience with alcohol, certain factors of college life, such as unstructured time, the widespread availability of alcohol, irregular enforcement of underage drinking laws, and limited interactions with parents and other adults, can intensify the problem. The first 6 weeks of freshman year are a vulnerable time for heavy drinking and alcohol-related consequences because of student expectations and social pressures at the start of the academic year.

 Dr. Chao, Peter M. “Metropolitan Hospital” 06/05/2018

“Alcohol abuse factors the following— homelessness, suicide, motor accidents, youth disaffection, family dysfunction and occupational health. Alcohol is no joke and cannot be treated as such. That is why we should treat it with a lot of caution and responsibility; for the action that it may influence us can affect us for a lifetime.”

COLLEGE DRINKING

The ongoing research continues to improve our understanding of how to address the persistent and student’s costly problem of harmful and  student drinking. Through various efforts— succeeds as it typically involves a mix of strategies that target individual students, the student body as a whole and the broader community of college.

  • Strategy Targeted for Individual Students

Individual-Level of interventions that target students, including those in higher-risk groups such as first year students, student athletes and fraternity members and mandated students. They are intended to change students’ knowledge, attitudes, behaviors related to alcohol so that they drink less, and take fewer risks and experience fewer harmful consequences.

  • Strategy Targeted for the Student Body and Surrounding Communities

Environmental-Level strategy that target the campus community and campus as a whole, and are designed to change the campus and community environments in which student drinking occurs. Oftentimes, a major goal is to reduce the availability of alcohol, because research shows that reducing alcohol availability cuts consumption and harmful repercussions on campuses as well as in the general population.

  • Most positive outcome is to combine the two strategies together

The best chance for making a safer campus will likely come from a combination of individual- and environmental-level interventions that work together to maximize positive effects. Strong leadership from a concerned college president, in combination with an involved campus community and a comprehensive program of evidence-based strategies, can help call-out harmful student drinking.

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