Alcoholism in College is Still Alcoholism

The life of a college student is accepted as being full of partying and heavy drinking to a point where many of us view that as the “norm.” Some may even feel pressured to drink when they don’t feel like it in order to not stand out. However, going out, ignoring responsibilities and drinking heavily multiple times a week is not going to be as free of consequences after graduation.

Sadly, we often fail to see how the habits we establish as new adults will affect our future lives. College students aren’t immune to the rabbit hole that is alcoholism or the health effects that follow, and we need to stop promoting dangerous behaviors that endanger ourselves and our friends.

Anna Schultz-Girl With Red Solo Cup Anna Schultz / Her Campus

Alcoholism in college is a recognized health concern due to its prevalence and detrimental effects. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism conducted a study in which they found that 33 percent of college students engaged in binge drinking in a span of a month, with binge drinking defined as consuming five alcoholic beverages or more for men or four alcoholic beverages or more for women.

However, many college students drink even more. Drinking this much can easily create a physical as well as mental dependence on alcohol that becomes difficult to break free from. The social, physical and mental health effects that follow can become life-ruining.

men and mental health Photo by Fernando @cferdo from Unsplash

The problem is that many people view binge drinking as part of the experience of higher education. People don’t critique the behaviors of their college friends or worry about them in the same way that they would an older adult. On the contrary, many students encourage their friends to become overly inebriated and/or ask them to drink multiple days a week. This leads to a culture of normative drinking in which the seriousness of the issue seems to fall into the background, with no one willing to bring it up.

Terje Sollie

The way to disrupt this phenomenon is to simply care for yourself and your friends. Be honest with yourself. Are you becoming reliant on alcohol? Are you unable to have fun with your friends without drinking? Do you have a friend who is binge drinking regularly that you think might need you to extend your hand?

Of course, people are going to drink in college, but the issue comes when it becomes a compromise to your health, safety and future. It’s time to stop pretending that alcoholism in college doesn’t exist.