by Andre Bunn
Alcohol is one of mans’ most daunting enemies yet one of his most loyal confidants. The aura of alcohol has long since been a popular way to enliven the lives of many since their teenage years. It is a time when one is of the age to detach from their parents just enough to experiment with that burning taste of vivacity or for others nausea.
And when such teenagers move out of the house and attend college they are no longer a simple whiff away from their parent’s noses and consequently they are unbound by their restrictions, free to operate under their own will to do and experiment as they please. So the question is, “How much do college students really drink?” as posed by Washington Post writer Valerie Strauss. Her article examines the effects college students submit themselves to when drinking their beloved alcohol.
Students attending college may be at their most vulnerable. They are on the cusp of adolescence and adulthood, halfway out the door of their protective parents’ home; near the threshold of the competitive dog eat dog nature of the real world. They really don’t need any more stress and all they want to do is fit in. So why not knock a plastic cup together with their dorm mates, mellow out and have a night to remember (or not) with their peers? It certainly seems harmless but this in where the problem may begin to fester and irritate its participants.
Strauss ascertains many statistics that she gathered from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, but here are just a few.
- · Over 1800 college students from the ages of 18-24 die from alcohol induced injuries that were unintentional.
- · Date rape and Assault are other complications that arise from the cloudiness that alcohol use instigates. There were 97,000 reported victims of sexual assault and another 696,000 were some type of physical assault from persons that were intoxicated.
- · 400,000 students were even reported as participating in unsafe sex and a quarter of those students say their judgment may have been too obscured to know if they even consented to having sex.
And it’s no surprise that a quarter of college students say that their academics endure the blunt end of the consequences from their drinking escapades.
Please note that these numbers are all estimations but their reality is real no matter how big or small the number. These aren’t just statistics; they are tangible people. The lives and mental stability of our young adults face a serious challenge of willpower when they are enticed to drink, often times beyond the legal limits, in which case they may harm themselves or others as a result.
The use of alcohol is glorified in Hollywood films and commercials market it in association with a good time but it has an immeasurable impact on our young adults. It may be seen as cool to drink, it may get the party started, it may “loosen up” an otherwise uptight individual, and it may be part of the natural progression of life but whatever the purpose there are serious and life threatening affects to those that choose to participate.
So, if you do choose to drink please know your limits and stay in control of yourself and the situation so you are always mindful of your actions. If not, someone else may be in control of them for you and their plan of action may not be to your liking. As they say: “Please drink responsibly”!