Why do some college students drink, and others don’t? What many may not realize is that drinking and college go hand in hand for many students. Therefore, it’s critical for teens to learn about the dangers of underage drinking before they go to college. If your teen is struggling with alcohol abuse, it may be necessary to seek an alcohol addiction treatment center. To learn more about your options, contact our North Carolina treatment center today.
Understanding Why College Students Drink
Parents and their family might be wondering why college students drink. For many of these students, moving on to college means new challenges, experiences, and responsibilities. Some students find these changes exciting, while others feel they’re overwhelming. That overwhelming feeling might be why drinking and college occur so frequently together.
Here are some additional reasons why college students might start drinking:
- They’re trying to escape boredom or depression
- There’s a strong need to belong
- They’re trying to make new friends
- There’s a fear of missing out
- There’s an intense need for relieving stress and anxiety
According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 58% of college students drank alcohol within the past month. Considering most of the students in that survey were underage, that’s a lot of alcohol consumption.
Looking at the Dangers of Drinking and College
Every year, millions of college students are affected by alcoholism. A study published by Science Daily indicates that approximately 80% of college students are consuming alcohol. Some students admit that they haven’t tried alcohol before entering college. When college students leave high school and move to a dorm or off-campus housing, they crave independence. That means encountering alcohol at social activities more often.
As college students drink more week after week, their bodies begin developing a tolerance. Because some college students drink heavily consistently, they have a higher risk of developing alcohol use disorder (AUD). That disorder could potentially lead to emotional and physical damages. Some of the effects of alcohol and mild and those temporary side effects could resolve with a day or two. However, other effects could last for several years.
Understanding the Consequences of Drinking and College
Even if your teen has never taken a drink while attending college, they’re still affected by drinking and college to some degree. For example, they might be witnessing their friend or dorm mate drinking more throughout each semester. Heavy or binge drinking can affect more than who is consuming alcohol; it can also destroy relationships, friendships, and academic performance.
Additional consequences of heavy drinking include:
- Becoming a victim of sexual or physical assault
- Committing or participating in criminal activities
- Developing health problems
- Performing poorly academically
- Risking injuries to themselves and others
In addition, they run the risk of developing mental health issues. Therefore, your teen struggles with both addiction and mental health, they may need treatment for a co-occurring disorder.
How to Avoid the Consequences
As tempting as drinking and college life is, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to refrain from alcohol use. Doing so is a positive way of avoiding the consequences associated with drinking and college. A student’s first step toward refraining from drinking too much is by surrounding themselves with positive people and resources. That doesn’t mean that students aren’t going to parties anymore. Instead, they’re accountable if they do decide to go.
Usually, that means the student must talk with their friends about how they can support each other. It could also be a positive idea for students to look for mentoring programs. In doing so, they’ll find parents, school administrators, and students available to help them distinguish between casual drinking and severe substance abuse.
Contact Foothills at Red Oak
Are you wondering how drinking and college might be affecting your teen? Do you have concerns that they might be consuming alcohol to the point of it damaging their academics or relationships? These are worries that no one should have to endure without having the best support. Contact us at 866.300.5275 to receive answers to your questions, as well as learn how we can offer assistance.