The culture of consuming substances has been adopted and accepted by a large number of people around the globe, without understanding that it causes serious and even life-threatening consequences.
Starting college is an exciting time for a student because of the idea of becoming a grown-up but unfortunately, this life transition comes along with its unanticipated threats involving substance misuse. Alcoholism is common among college students and is a major concern in many communities as it impacts our health and academic, personal, and professional life. The idea that all gatherings are incomplete without alcohol and that students attend parties and social activities where alcohol is readily accessible has become a trend and a social norm.
How does drinking culture develop?
When students are asked why they first started drinking. The most common responses and motives for drinking are: to embrace the expectations of independence, family history of drinking, to connect with friends who drink, to relax, to escape, to fit in, to alleviate anxiety, social pressure, stress, and depression. Nonetheless, they need to be advised that initially drinking as a depressant will potentially lead to long-term severe depression.
Some signs of alcoholism with college students include:
- Mood changes
- Losing focus
- Academic problems; poor performance on tests or missing lectures
- Relationship problems
- Irregular sleeping patterns
- Change in appetite
- Developing a tolerance for alcohol
- Hangovers and blackouts
- Weak immune system
- Criminal activity and violence
- Driving under influence
Researchers estimate that each year about 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing classes, performing poorly on tests and receiving lower grades overall, 20% of college students meet criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), between the ages of 18 and 24, about 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related injuries and accidents, about 696,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking and about 96,000 students are experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or rape.
Whilst keeping up to the trends of college, students don’t grasp just how much they’re consuming. The more they drink, the more likely they will suffer negative consequences. Symptoms towards a dangerous situation can include vomiting, irregular breathing, and hypothermia, or low body temperature. When the body starts to struggle they’re at a higher risk of long-term health and personal life problems. Such as:
- Cardiac problems
- Brain damage
- Liver problems
- High blood pressure
- Early death
Take small steps towards improvement
Firstly, consider the costs and benefits of drinking alcohol, and set expectations and plan for improvement, for example, make a mind that you have to stop drinking and start by restricting and cutting back on your drinks each day. Secondly, avoid negative influences, and distance yourself from people who don’t support your efforts, learn from the experience and get rid of cravings. This will ultimately help you change your lifestyle by improving your relationships and helping you reach goals for improved mental and physical health.
College does not have to include alcohol to be exciting and rewarding.
If you need support, several therapies and treatments are available through which you can recover your depression and explore sources and ways to overcome your substance dependence. Seek with a consultant today to prevent or remove your addiction for a lifetime.