How to Discuss Alcohol Use with College Students
Binge drinking in college has not changed much since the 1980’s in that heavy drinking is still a problem. A number of reasons exist for this including a changing society which creates more complex consequences. Learn more about problem drinking and how to discuss alcohol use with college students.
Moderate Alcohol Use
Moderate drinking is defined as approximately 2 drinks per day. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking for anywhere from 4 to 5 drinks in a two hour period. Half of college students who drink also participate in binge drinking behavior. Find some tips to engage in conversation with a college student about the dangers and risks of drinking.
6 Conversations to Start Now
Drinking Has Health Consequences
Teaching a college student the facts of drinking risks is important. Heavy drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, unintentional injury and other health problems including high blood pressure, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Binge drinking is risky behavior and college students need to know all factors involved.
High Tolerance is Not Strength
A high alcohol threshold has explicit dangers, mainly that a person does not have the ability to know when to quit. Decreased effects with the same amount will produce intoxication and the desire to drink more will increase to elevate the effects. A person is at greater risk for potential health problems with higher tolerance.
Heavy Drinking Activates Addiction
Alcoholism and substance abuse problems increase as heavy drinking continues. Statistics are higher for individuals with a genetic predisposition. Treatment programs are often the best way to help individuals who struggle with heavy drinking and addiction.
Blackouts Come with Risks
Individuals who experience blackouts as a result of heavy drinking (episodes of amnesia while conscious) are exposed to risks of severe or even fatal health outcomes. Highly damaging outcomes may include exposure to physical assaults, sexual assaults and involvement in car accidents.
Heavy Drinking May Trigger Mental Health Issues
Substance abuse patterns may escalate the likelihood of experiencing mental health issues including anxiety, depression, aggression and eating disorders. A negative cycle of substance abuse can develop in an effort to cope with a mental health problem. A doctor or treatment facility can often help with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Social Media Normalizes Drinking
Young people today look to social media and celebrity icons. In the same way peer pressure can influence young people, social media makes drinking behavior seem normalized and glamorous. College students need to understand all the risks associated with heavy drinking and learn to moderate behavior based on reality, not social media perceptions.
College students who are informed of all the risks associated with heavy drinking behavior can make more positive, healthy choices. Providing students with information necessary to make good decisions will help them recognize signs in their lives or others and mitigate some of the risks involved.
If your college student or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call Blueprints. Let us help guide you to the resources you need to make informed decisions about possible treatment options.