What is Alcoholism?
According to mayoclinic.com, alcoholism is a chronic and often progressive disease that includes problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.



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How Alcoholism Relates to College Students
Alcoholism relates to college students because virtually all college students experience the effects of college drinking. Weather the student drinks or not alcohol is still a huge part of social life on all college campuses. The drinking isn’t necessarily the problem; it’s the negative that result from excessive drinking. Some consequences include: deaths, injuries, assault, sexual abuse, unsafe sex, academic problems, and alcohol abuse/dependence.

  • Deaths: 1,825 college tudents between ages 18-24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle accidents

  • Injuries: 599,000 students between ages 18-24 are unintentionally injured under the influence

  • Assault: 696,000 students between ages 18-24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking

  • Sexual Abuse: 97,000 students between ages 18-24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape

  • Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between ages 18-24 had unprotected sex and more then 100,000 students reported having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex.

  • Academic Problems: about 25% of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall

  • Alcohol Abuse/Dependence: 31% of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6% for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking

By definition binge drinking is the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time. A fact sheet recorded after surveying college students about their drinking experiences states that binge drinking is the most serious on campus. According to the survey:

  • Ø44% of U.S. college students confessed to binge drinking two weeks prior to the survey.

  • Ø51% of the MEN drank 5 or more drinks in a row

  • Ø40% of the WOMEN drank 4 or more drinks in a row

  • ØStudents more prone to binge drinking were white, 23 years or younger, and were a part of a either a fraternity or sorority

  • ØThe percentages of students from freshman to seniors who were binge drinkers was roughly the same

  • ØAbout half the binge drinkers (1 in 4) binge drank on a regular basis (3 or more times in a 2 week period)

  • Ø1 in 5 students were reported to have stayed about from any alcohol consumption

Why Students Choose to Binge Drink
1. Drinking to get drunk
  • Some students like the feeling of being drunk. Often being “drunk” is used as an excuse for actions performed that are deemed unacceptable or embarresing. Students assume alcohol will give them confidence and make them more outgoing

2. Status associated with drinking
  • Majority of college students feel drinking is a main part of the social life, specifically Greek-involved students. Most students just want to fit in and will go to very high measures to fulfill this desire

3. Culture of alcohol consumption on campus
  • Depending on the school the culture of alcohol consumption can be very overwhelming. Greek-life student activities are reported to have the highest pressure alcohol consumption culture

4. Peer pressure & academic stress
  • Peer pressure doesn’t disappear after high school. It is a huge aspect among college students. Now that students are older and living with no adult supervision they have a lot more pressure to fit in. These are the people they are going to be living with for the next four years. The pressure to appear likeable might even be greater because of this factor. Academic stress plays another big role in college drinking. Students feel “cracking a cold one” after big test is a way to celebrate all there hard work.


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Impact On Other Students
Weather college students choose to drink or not they are still affected by the drinking that occurs around them. According to the Advocacy for the Prevention of Alcohol Problems fact sheet there were several incidents reported:

  • 71% had sleep or study interrupted
  • 57% had to take care of an intoxicated student
  • 36% had been insulted or humiliated
  • 23% had experienced an unwanted sexual encounter
  • 23% had a serious argument
  • 16% had property damage
  • 11% had been pushed, hit or assaulted
  • 1% had been the victim of a sexual advance assault or “date rape”
*Binge drinking is a widespread phenomenon on most college campuses, a problem that not only interferes with the mission of higher education but also carries with it serious risks of disease, injury, and death*

Effects On the Brain


With the amount of students drinking on college campuses every student should be aware of both the long term and short term affects of alcohol on the brain. It is easily forgotten because it is legal at the age of 21 but alcohol IS A DRUG and underage drinking does occur in the college environment.


SHORT TERM AFFECTS
Depending on how much a person has consumed and their physical condition alcohol can cause:

üSlurred speech
üDrowsiness
üVomiting
üDiarrhea
üUpset stomach
üHeadaches
üBreathing difficulties
üDistorted vision and hearing
üImpaired judgment
üDecreased perception and coordination
üUnconsciousness
üAnemia (loss of red blood cells)
üComa
üBlackouts (memory lapses, where the drinker cannot remember evens that occurred while under the influences)

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LONG TERM AFFECTS
Continued binge drinking in excessive amounts can cause many health problems including:

üUnintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning
üIntentional injures such as firearm injuries, sexual assault, domestic violence
üIncreased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
üIncreased family problems, broken relationships
üAlcohol poisoning
üHigh blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
üLiver disease
üNerve damage
üSexual problems
üPermanent damage to the brain
üUlcers
üGastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
üMalnutrition
üCancer of the mouth and throat


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Prevention/Tips
  • I know we can’t stop students from drinking but you can be smart about it when you choose to engage in drinking activities
  • BE SAFE, BE SENSABLE, KNOW YOUR LIMITS
  • Drink water in between drinks
  • Never drink and drive… ALWAYS HAVE A SOBOR RIDE
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach
  • Don’t mix any kind of medication with alcohol
  • If you’re not drinking, look out for your friends




Conclusion
This topic is important because alcohol plays a big role on college campuses and it can have many negative affects. Not only does alcohol affect physical abilities but also it also largely affects the brain. College students are known for binge drinking. Binge drinking is one of the most dangerous ways to drink and affects the brain in the most severe ways. It can lead to some pretty bad medical issues if students are not careful and it can also lead to social suicide because of the situations college students get themselves into while consuming alcohol.




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  • Images from Google: effects alcohol has on the brain