Alcohol Drinking Among College Students
It is very evident that it is very hard for a college student to resist an offer such as “another glass of beer?” or “here, have another beer on my bill.” Due to this, college drinking habits have drawn concerns by public health on the consequences of engaging in heavy alcohol drinking by college students. It is clear that colleges’ students involve in drinking habits displays certain patterns which are attributed by factors such as peer pressure, access to large amount of alcohol and wrong decisions undertaken by this students. reports from the national survey indicates that from the year 1999-2005, college student who drank five or more drinks between the age of 18 and 24 increased from forty one percent to forty five percent calling for an alarm (Ham & Hope, 720).
This paper will greatly review on the reasons why college students involve themselves in excess drinking, in what ways are organizations within colleges intend to reform and improve school drinking behaviors and what are the consequences of consuming alcohol in excess. It was in the year 2002 when the national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism called for quick action toward the increased drinking among college drinking in the United States. Not only is excess consumption of alcohol affecting the individual but also other people who are round them. It is increasing been noted that most students engages in excessive drinking so as to signify their adulthood, to cope with stress and to enhance collective gatherings.
I. Why do college students engage in excess drinking?
With such an alarming rate in amount of alcohol being consumed by today college students as compared to the past, it is very important that we try to find out what are the main reasons that force these students to engage in excess alcohol consumption. Before trying to discuss the various reasons as to why college students engage in excessive drinking it is important that we first try to define and understand what excessive drinking is (Warner, 56). Excessive drinking is defined as high rates of consuming alcohol which are mainly associated to negative consequences towards an individual consuming it and the people close to him. There are several factors which are known to cause the high rate of drinking among college students. Some of these factors include;
Morean et al (230) observe that it is very important that we define what peer pressure is, the term peer pressure can be defined as how a teenager or an adolescent’s behaves in the influence or in the presence of her or his adolescents friends. In this case of excessive alcohol consumption, this term has been divided into two that is; active and passive peer pressure. In active peer pressure, a college student may receive an explicit offer to drink more alcohol or just receive spoken criticism for refusing to indulge in alcohol consumption. When in the presence of such friends, a college student may be forced to drink more alcohol so as to avoid such criticism. Other than criticism, one can be subjected to direct pressure such that they are made to participate in drinking games or ordering of many rounds of beer or wine while in the bars and discos. Since different college students don’t want to shy away from the various explicit offer there indulge in these drinking sprees without realizing the consequences involved.
Unlike active peer pressure, passive pressure does not involve an adolescent being issued with an explicit offer but rather it largely depend on the teens desire to fit in and adopting the morals and practices being carried out by his fellow teens. The phrase “everyone is doing it, why not me” can be used to effectively describe what passive pressure refers to. Passive pressure can be divided to social modeling in the consumption of alcohol and perceptions that emerges from these excessive drinking. Research indicates that peer pressure affects male students as compared to their female counterparts , it also go ahead in indicating that it is considered to poses a 78.2% in the reasons as to why teenagers engages in excessive alcohol consumption (Warner, 60).
Parties in both the campus and residential home
Ham & Hope (750) point out that it is very evident that the culture of most college students revolves around holding parties and having fun. Colleges’ students often hold parties in the absence of their parents, this largely contribute to their great involvement in excessive drinking whereby they tend to consume what they see their parents consuming. For the most students who live off campus they tend to hold house parties where friends are able to gain access to alcohol as compared to the rate they would have gain access in bars and restaurants.
Other than home parties, many campuses have on-campus pubs and restaurant where parties are held. In these restaurants people came together and forms groups called fraternity. These groups are associated with excessive consumption of alcohol within the campus. Due to the fame associated to these groups, more youth tend to join them for recognition where later they engage in excessive drinking.
It is very important that adolescents and teenage are very curious and they tend to think that they are already mature. Due to the fact that most of parents have a tendency of drinking in the presence of their children, this teenagers expects that excessive alcohol consumption causes pleasurable moments in life. It is due to this are college students engaging in excessive drinking so as to obtain pleasurable moments away from their usual books and constant reading (CASE, 1).
II. What have college done to change things
Research indicates that there has been a rapid increase of alcohol-related traffic together with other unintended injury deaths, both within and out of college especially among individuals aged 18-24 years old. This with no doubt has emphasized the need for colleges and neighboring communities to increase and strengthen measures to curb excessive drinking not only among college students but also among those within the age bracket who are not in college. Many individually oriented counseling programs, comprehensive community interventions, and environmental interventions have been established by schools and other organizations to help ease drinking and associated problems (Morean et al, 235).
College organization looks to reform and improve schools drinking behaviors
Currently efforts to control drinking among students are ongoing in colleges. College organization, especially student bodies are in the frontline with a view of seeing that colleges serve the purposes they were meant other than being a drinking spree. Students not only in the US but around the world have come together to anti-alcohol and anti-drug abuse organizations to create awareness concerning the issue. For instance as reported by Rodriguez (1), National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws’ (NORML) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s (SSDP) chapter of The Florida State University incorporated their event on 31st March, 2010 in support o the Alcohol Awareness Month. Their main objective as witnessed in their numerous rallies is educating the public on safety of using alcohol and marijuana.
Stricter guidelines are being put into place to restrict the consumption of alcohol
Colleges and states have come up with alcohol policy with strict rules and bearing severe consequences upon violation by any students. Parents have also been supplied with copies and research indicate that most of students whose parents have read the brochures were less likely to begin drinking if they did not drink before joining college. As part of environmental intervention, all states have laws prohibiting selling of alcohol to individuals younger than 21 years as opposed to 1984 where only 17 states had embraced the law (Ham & Hope, 760).
Researches indicate that sturdy college alcohol policies decrease binge and underage drinking on campus devoid of resulting to a compensatory increase in the use of marijuana. A study carried out by Centre for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) among administrators and students o 11 universities and colleges in Massachusetts has clear indication of how a more restrictive enforcement policy for alcohol consumption could reduce the habit.
Many not-for-profit and student organizations incardination with colleges and universities are offering educational programs dedicated to tackle the issues of drug and alcohol abuse. For instance Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT) is composed of peer educators who offer educational outreach, promote awareness and act as accessible resources for students. It is found in universities such as the University of California and has helped to reduce the abuse of alcohol and other substances.
According to CASE (2) other programs include Drug and Alcohol Prevention Education that has been initiated in most universities and colleges aimed at reducing the consumption of alcohol. The main aim of the program is to ensure drug alcohol-free schools. This is one component of health programs within schools and colleges. One way that has made the program successful is through community-college linkage that ensures parents and the community at large is actively involved in the efforts to reduce alcohol consumption.
Support from Organizations
A number of organizations have come up in support of a reduction of alcohol consumption within colleges and universities. Education awareness is a key area that all this organizations emphasize while trying to handle the situation (Gale Group, 1560). For example, Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation is a national not-for-profit organization whose main goal is to educate the public of the safety of using alcohol versus alcohol. Many students have benefited from such programs through making an informed decision.
III. What are the consequences of excessive drinking among college students?
Excessive alcohol consumption has been known to have a very wide number of consequences. These consequences range from personal, medical and social. These effects or consequences largely depend on both the overall amount o alcohol consumption and largely on the kind of pattern being displayed (LaBrie et, 725).
When alcohol is consumed in excess it causes toxicities in the brain therefore destroying various brain cells. Research indicates that continuous abuse of alcohol by college students has created an environment which is vulnerable to the brain of the student. it has been noted that when the brain of an adolescent who indulge in excessive drinking and that which does not, that which is indulge in excessive drinking had impaired memory especially in the reasoning skills.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been predicted as the main cause of high blood pressure within an individual. Binge drinking causes a surge in the blood of an individual as compared to an individual who is consuming small quantities of alcohol over a long period. it has been noted that most young people especially those in colleges are suffering due to increased blood pressure.
Medical practitioners have cautioned that binge drinking increases the risk of acute hemorrhagic up to the gauge of ten. The increased hemorrhagic leads to stoke which largely causes increase in blood pressure therefore creation of spasm within cerebral arteries. If college student are not careful there are likely to die because of constant strokes (CASE, 3).
It is known that binge drinking diminishes myocardial contraction, which has widely increases chances of heart failure among college student hence high cases of deaths. Studies have indicated that around 30% to 60% cases of atrial fibrillation with students are due to excessive indulgence in the consumption of alcohol most particular among college men. a quarter of sudden cardiac deaths that are been witnessed in various colleges are due to the fact that they have greatly engaged in binge drinking.
Female college students be taken advantage of because of their decision to drink in access
Female drinkers face a lot of problems when they are drunk. They are taken advantage of through violent victimization as indicated by a survey of female college students which established a considerable association between the level of alcohol the women take weekly and their encounters of sexual victimization. Additional studies indicate female college students using alcohol are more likely to be victimized on dating violence as compared to female nondrinking students (LaBrie et al, 721). Many rape cases have been reported among drunk females due to being taken advantage of. They also end up being forced into sexual intercourse without their knowledge. This is one reason of the rising cases of sexually transmitted diseases among the female college students.
College students make the wrong decisions
Being under the influence of alcohol is one of the major reasons why many college students make wrong decisions. Driving under the influence of alcohol has brought about another serious threat. About 32% of college drinkers have been established to drive under the influence of alcohol. This does not only put them at the risk of injury but also potentially death. A study done in 1999, established that other than 2 million colleges and university in the US driving under the influence of alcohol, more than 3 million individuals rode as passengers under a drinking driver (Gale Group, 1540).
Alcohol drinking among college students is not only a significant health but also a public concern. Many college students have found themselves being trapped into due this habit due to their inability to resist offer for free alcohol. There are a number of reasons why college students indulge in excessive drinking, first of all peer pressure plays a big role as most students will find it hard to resist practicing what their fellow peers do. Secondly parties held both at home and on campus, with alcohol as one of the drinks greatly encourage this habit. Due to the fact that college students often hold parties absence of their parents, they tend to consume what their parents take and they could not be allowed by their parents. Lastly expectancies is another factor leading to this excessive alcohol drinking in college.
Colleges, communities and other organizations are however determined to curb through a number of strategies that go along way in ensuring that colleges are drug and alcohol free. Students also have their own organizations that fight excessive drinking in college. Such organizations include SSDP and NORML. On the other hand, strict guidelines within colleges aid in reducing its consumption. There are a number of educational programs that geared towards eradication of alcohol and drugs in colleges. A good example is ADAPT and Drug and Alcohol Prevention Education. The efforts ease this behavior can not be enough without the help of other numerous not-for-profit organizations that have strived to offer services such as counseling and awareness creation among college students.
Finally, excessive drinking of alcohol has many negative consequences. They range from physical, psychological, and medical conditions that can come about as a result of alcoholism. The medical problems include: brain damage, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and strokes. Other than this, female drinkers suffer a lot as they are frequently taken advantage of while drunk. It is very apparent that while drank, students end up making wrong decisions like driving under the influence and having unsafe sex.
Ham, Lindsay and Hope, Debra. “College students and problematic drinking: A review of the literature.” Clinical Psychology Review, 23 (2003) 719–759
Rodriguez, Ana. “Students rally for reform; Organizations seek support to improve drug and alcohol policies”. SmallTown Papers. Inc, 2010.
Gale Group. “Magnitude and prevention of college drinking and related problems”. Alcohol Research & Health 45.33 (2010): 1535-7414
LaBrie, Joseph et al. “Family history of alcohol abuse associated with problematic drinking among college students.” Addictive Behaviors, 35. 7 (2010): 721-725
CASE. Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT).Nov. 12, 2010. Web. Oct. 23, 2010http://www.virginia.edu/case/education/ADAPT.html
Morean, Esther et al. “Parental history of anxiety and alcohol-use disorders and alcohol expectancies as predictors of alcohol-related problems” Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 70 (2009): 227–236.
Warner, Hirst et al. “Alcohol initiation experiences and family history of alcoholism as predictors of problem-drinking trajectories”, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs 68 (2007): 56–65.
Do not know exactly what you need?
Send us those crumbs you have and our expert writers will do the rest!Evaluate