With the heat of summer comes music festivals, and with music festivals comes illicit drug use and, all too frequently, tragic deaths. Each year at festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee and Electric Zoo in New York, people experiment with drugs like Molly, taking risks on MDMA cut with anonymous stimulants sold under the popular moniker. In the wake of tragedies at Electric Zoo and other festivals last year, summer festivals this year will be stepping up their drug screening policies, incorporating pat-downs, sniffer dogs and other similar measures to try to prevent problems.
Research has shown that an approach called brief alcohol intervention can help significantly reduce the amount of alcohol that college students consume, and thereby decrease the risks for a range of harmful drinking consequences. In addition, research has shown that interventions provided remotely via the Internet have a beneficial impact similar to interventions provided in person. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, a team of Swedish researchers assessed the effectiveness of brief alcohol interventions delivered through downloadable apps on smartphones.
Spring break is coming soon, and along with it the reports of bad behavior among unrestrained college kids. Unfortunately, spring break plus kids plus alcohol often equals far more than harmless misbehavior.
Personalized feedback intervention is an educational technique that uses a person’s own responses to improve understanding of the health risks involved with certain dangerous behaviors. Public health officials and doctors have begun using various forms of this technique to educate substance users about the risks involved with substance abuse.
Many parents fear their children will let their curiosity about alcohol and drugs grow into a full-blown habit that wrecks their lives. Children who are between 10 and 12 are most often at a stage in their lives where they don’t really have an opinion about drugs, alcohol or even cigarettes. Mental health experts believe this is the most important time to shape their opinions about substance abuse.
Considering the potential risks associated with teen drinking, such as injury, vehicular crashes and risky sexual behaviors in the short term, as well as heart disease or cancer in the long term, binge drinking by teens can result in tragedy. Parents should be talking with their teens about the dangers of alcohol.
While some students are able to prioritize studying and remain focused on their main purpose for being on campus, other students become sidetracked by the party scene. Is there a reason that some students aren’t tempted by alcohol, others seem to think of nothing but the next party? Some factors may be biological, such as a family history of alcohol dependence, but there may be others that increase the likelihood that a student will engage in heavy alcohol consumption while at school.
Studies on the school and state level show that the way to curb drinking isn’t just a matter of writing and posting a set of rules. What really appears to matter is how much those rules will be enforced.
When college students drink there is a tendency to consume unhealthy amounts, otherwise known as binge drinking. This behavior increases risks of injury, involvement in assaults or motor vehicle crashes and blood toxicity, as well as sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancy. A recent study evaluated the policies and programs that college campuses implement in order to reduce drinking among students.
The movie Animal House, while a parody, treated drinking as most Hollywood productions do: as an accepted part of college life. Attitudes toward underage college drinking run the gamut, from parental concern to tacit acceptance among schools and communities to somewhere just shy of actually encouraging it as a rite of passage into adulthood.