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.
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.
With social media and text messaging, teens have more ability than ever to broadcast information to wider audiences. These types of communication may be used to spread information about a good cause such as a charity event or a school function, or can promote poor choices, such as which stores are willing to sell to minors.
Although the use of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) in professional and collegiate athletics generates the biggest headlines, recreational drug use is also a problem among many amateur athletes.
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.
Alcohol consumption on university campuses is a long-standing but growing concern around the country. Negative behaviors associated with over-consumption of alcohol have become a focus for school policymakers.
Teens are constantly inventing new and more dangerous ways to take risks. Unless parents work hard to stay informed and aware of teen culture, one can get left behind. Conversely, in-the-know parents can help teens think through and avoid risky and potentially life-threatening behavior. With that in mind, here are a few of the ways teens are abusing substances in order to “get wasted” these days.
Just a couple of years ago the Federal Drug Administration banned the selling of premixed energy/alcohol beverages. The brand Four Loko became the poster child for the decision after receiving media attention, but there were numerous makers of caffeine and alcohol drinks who felt the pinch. Unfortunately, a government ban on the canned drinks hasn’t brought a halt to a dangerous habit on the part of young people.
Recent research has shown that over one-third of the pedestrians killed in 2011 had blood alcohol levels above the legal driving limit, which can be achieved after just a few drinks. There has been a significant increase in cases of “distracted walking” – this includes walking drunk and walking while using cell phones. From 2010 to 2011 there was a three percent jump in pedestrian fatalities.
Parents are often confused about their role in helping teens navigate decisions related to alcohol and drugs. For some, the right path is an adherence to strict rules for any type of substance use. For other parents, there’s a benefit in allowing alcohol to be consumed in moderation under a watchful parental eye. Experts say that the correct strategy may involve the best elements of each approach.