This time of year for some is the prospect of getting mentally prepared to be "going off to college". For most it is a time of reflection and expectation. Parents realizing that their little boy or girl isn't so little anymore and it getting ready to embark on a life changing journey.
For the Student, the prospect of college means freedom, new friends, and the chance to recreate themselves. For many students this first taste of freedom can be more challenging then anticipated. Until now mom and/or dad may have woke us up in the morning, made breakfast or packed our lunch. Helped us with our school work, and with what to buy, wear, eat, when to go to bed and was a safe guard against potential if ever indulgence or worse overindulgence in alcohol or other drugs.
Its Just Drinking
Consequences of Harmful and Underage College Drinking Drinking affects college students, their families, and college communities at large. Researchers estimate that each year:
Death: About 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries
Assault: About 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
Sexual Assault: About 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault. (NIAAA)
Due to often inexperienced with use of alcohol or just a lack of understanding of the potential effects many students unintentional ingest to much to quickly. This as we have seen in recent years can cause in some instances fatal outcomes. One of the most common activities that students will engage in is known as "Binge Drinking" What is “binge drinking?” Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men—in about 2 hours.
This last one is of chief concern for many universities. Gone are the days of FRAT Parties, and thoughts like its just a fad, phase, or, what you are supposed to to do in college. In fact several universities are making strides to introduce sobriety programs. Thes programs invite an alternative to the traditional. Due to this some of the students’ perceptions seem to be changing and a positive scenario is evolving. As per the Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE), the number of addiction recovery programs on campuses nationwide has increased to 186 in 2018 from 29 in 2013. These programs offer counseling and substance-free housing along with sober social events ranging from tailgates to trips. A complete list and a ton more valuable resources visit Recovery Campus
Lastly it is believed - as trite and cliche as it may sound - still the greatest deterrent to your freshly minted college bound youth has against overindulgence once away at college are your words. So please talk with your son or daughter about the wonders that lie ahead but also about the dangers as well. They will listen.
Dan Renaud BS, CAP, ICADC