Years of research has shown that underage drinking on college campuses has gotten worse, with more students drinking and more alcohol being consumed. Binge drinking (having four or more consecutive drinks) is rampant on university campuses, and a recent study finds that Maryland scholars are tipping back more than their counterparts everywhere else in the country.
The problem of teens trying out risky behaviors is nothing new. However, a study found that even though binge drinking among high school students has dropped during recent years, the number of them engaging in extreme binge drinking is climbing.
A recent study has revealed that one in five Michigan high school-aged residents drank heavily at least once in the previous 30 days. The same percentage of adults also said they binge drank at least once in the same time period.
Teens are experimenting with the dangerous new practice of vaporizing alcohol and then inhaling it. Many of them think it’s no more harmful than drinking and have even heard rumors of its advantages over drinking alcohol. Health professionals say teens need to be cautioned that when alcohol is inhaled it affects the brain rapidly and can quickly lead to the emergency room.
The perception that college is one big party with academic achievement as a footnote will be on the minds of parents as they send off their freshmen. Many students begin using alcohol during college, and many learn to drink to excess.
Tragedy struck just one year ago at Washington State University when freshman Kenneth Hummel died from alcohol poisoning. Hummel, who had consumed multiple alcoholic drinks and an energy beverage, had a blood-alcohol level that was more than five times the legal limit.
College students drink. Sometimes they drink a lot, and sometimes that excessive drinking leads to tragedy.
It’s August, which means back-to-school month. Pens, pencils, notebooks, laptops and backpacks are crowding store shelves. Families are preparing to send newly-graduated high school seniors off to college for the first time or sending older college students back for another semester after a stretch of family togetherness. In either case, it’s a good idea to have an honest discussion with your child about the presence of alcohol on campus before they leave.
A recent editorial appeared in the Canadian Medical Association Journal asking questions about the wisdom of unregulated alcohol advertising, especially ad campaigns that target a young, female audience. The editorial suggested that the alcohol industry be required to include health warnings in each piece of advertising, alerting young girls to the dangers of drinking. Young girls are responding to the advertising push, but may be ignorant of the inherent risks to their sex.
Each year parents bid adieu to their children as they send them away to college. It can be a nerve racking time for many reasons but none as sobering as the growing alcohol-related death toll that hangs like a dark cloud over campuses across America.