Everything a Student Needs to Know About Alcohol

University and college drinking is a common habit that is glorified in movies. The party culture that is pervasive at universities and colleges encourages this habit further.

Therefore, many students are ready to try it out when joining these learning institutions. The campus atmosphere and the fact that most college students stay away from their parents creates an opportunity for them to drink alcohol for the first time.

Eventually, students assume that drinking is just a normal part of the college experience. Unfortunately, many learners don’t realize that excessive consumption of alcohol is a safety risk and can have severe health effects. What’s more, they don’t consider the fact that they can become alcohol addicts while still in college.

Here’s everything a student should know about alcohol.

Reasons for Alcoholism among Students

Many students see college as the time to enjoy new experiences, face new responsibilities, and new challenges. This is both overwhelming and exciting for some students. It also explains why some students drink and end up battling alcoholism not understanding is alcohol physically or mentally addictive.

In some cases, alcohol consumption starts even before a student joins college. Thus, college is not the first encounter with alcohol for some students. A significant percentage of high school seniors drink alcohol and even some engage in binge drinking. Thus, it’s only that pressure to abuse alcohol intensifies when some students join college or university. Here are some of the reasons for alcoholism among students.  

Stress Relief

It’s easy to assume that students don’t have stress as long as their parents provide them with everything they need at school. However, this is wrong. According to an ABC News report, 3 out of 4 students feel stressed to a level of contemplating suicide. And because stress can cause both mental and physical ailment, it’s an issue that should be addressed.

To alleviate stress, some students start drinking alcohol to enjoy its relaxant effects. It’s known that alcohol takes an edge off nervousness and anxiety. What most students don’t know is that the after-effects of alcohol can add more stress.

Stressors, like balancing school and work, maintaining top grades, workloads assigned by teachers, grant requirements, scholarship, and self-pressure, can lead students to alcohol consumption.

Friendship

Joining campus is an exciting idea for some students. However, some learners become nervous. The fact that students have to make new friends brings discomfort to some of them. The majority of college students are nervous and eager about making friends.

One of the major characteristics of alcohol is that it has a relaxing effect. That means it relaxes and calms the nerves. Unfortunately, it also relaxes the ability to make informed decisions. Even motor and speech skills relax when you drink alcohol. This relaxation gives a person false confidence thereby making them open up socially. That’s why even a shy person who drinks several alcoholic beverages at a party can become social with everyone when drunk.

Social Belonging

Being at home gives students security and comfort. But, when they leave home for school or college, some feel out of place. They go to a world where they have to oversee their lives and enjoy the freedom of doing whatever they please. However, some students are pleased about fitting in with new peers.

While some students fit in with groups that don’t drink but instead engage in positive college activities, others fit in party crowds. These end up having fun in parties where drinking alcohol is a norm. Peer pressure leads such students to drink alcohol believing that the habit is cool or a normal way of having fun.

Boredom

Not every student knows how to seek positive adventures when bored. Some students come together when bored and the only thing they think about is drinking as a way of having fun. Alcohol provides temporary excitement and fun. However, its disadvantages are more.

When students drink excessively, they put themselves at the risk of being drugged or assaulted sexually. They can also drive under the influence and eventually face legal charges. What’s more, drinking every time a student gets bored can make them an alcoholic.

Fear of Missing Out

Everybody wants to fit or belong to a social group. Regardless of their age, human beings fear missing out on. People want to look back at college life and discuss the crazy and wild things they did while drunk. This is especially true among groups and clubs that form bonds via drinking activities. Unfortunately, some students become addicts after drinking for the fear of missing out.

How to Avoid Alcohol Addiction

College is indeed a time to enjoy new experiences, face new challenges and responsibilities. Campus environment combined with the perception that new experiences have to involve drinking or using drugs can easily lead to addiction. To avoid alcohol physical addiction, students should get positive support. This should provide an enjoyable, balanced, and fulfilling college life.

There are also mentoring programs and sober living residences in some colleges. If such facilities are available in your learning institution, utilize them to avoid alcohol addiction. These facilities are meant to help students connect and spend time with like-minded peers.

Mentoring programs connect students to the necessary resources that ensure their academic success. Some colleges connect students to treatment facilities if they are struggling with grades due to substance use problems. These are remarkably helpful for learners that want to get back on their track and achieve study goals.

Possible Treatment

The National Institutes of Health describes underage and harmful college drinking as a public health problem that is taking a toll on the social and intellectual lives of students. Fortunately, students with a drinking problem can be treated for addiction.

Possible treatment for alcohol addiction among students includes:

  • Detoxification
  • Therapies
  • Counseling
  • After-care support

Both outpatient and inpatient or residential addiction treatment programs are available for students. The best rehab facilities provide a treatment that is based on the unique need of individual students. That’s because each student is different and the factors that led them to drink vary.

The Bottom Line

Different reasons lead students to the excess use of alcohol. Unfortunately, the addictive nature of alcohol leaves most learners with addiction that they struggle with for years. However, learners can avoid this addiction or seek treatment if they already have it. Different rehabs take different approaches when treating alcohol addiction. Nevertheless, students with a drinking problem can recover from addiction and achieve academic, as well as, career goals.

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Ava Moore
BA, MA Psychology (and Conflict Resolution), University of Cambridge (2007). With a decade of trial and error in psychology and 33 years of navigating my own complex (that's one word for it!) relationships with family, friends, co-workers and men, I hope I have some useful knowledge and skills to share with my readers about making sense of relationships and trying to become a better person every day.

I'm the Chief Editor here at Independent Femme and would love to hear from you.

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