College-age teenagers with sexual assault victimization histories appear to be at unusually high risk for developing drinking problems. In a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the State University of New York at Buffalo explored the connection between sexual assault and problem drinking in incoming college freshmen. These researchers found that freshmen with a recent history of assault victimization, in particular, have heightened risks for serious alcohol-related issues.
Alcohol consumption and drug use are relatively common activities on college campuses across the U.S. In a study published in December 2013 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a team of American researchers investigated the connection between alcohol use and drug use among college students. These researchers found that the interaction between drug intake and alcohol intake in any given college student falls into one of four categories. They also found that even students with a relatively low level of alcohol intake can experience significant alcohol-related harms.
Alcohol consumption is often linked to inciting aggressive or violent behavior. Two studies show that young men and women who drink heavily are more likely to harm their romantic partner. Marijuana, meanwhile, was shown to be unrelated to physical violence.
The last week of October was National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. Major news outlets ran stories about college efforts to push back against the trend of increasing underage drinking. One college, Trinity College, received particular attention for its Night Watch program.
Binge drinking is often associated with young males, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in eight women said they had drank heavily three times in the month before they were surveyed. Binge drinking obviously isn’t just something that men do. But for women, the consequences can be more severe even when the same amount of alcohol is consumed.
The first month or two at college can set the tone for a student’s success or lay the path to disaster. Freshmen who believe that fitting in at college equals heavy drinking often have their college career get off to a very bumpy start.
Fall term is well underway on college campuses all across the country. Incoming freshmen and returning college students are once again away from home, charged with the duty of cramming their still-developing minds with learning. Along with tremendous educational opportunities, students are also faced with some serious decisions about how to spend their independence from home. For many college students a return to school means more opportunities to get together with friends and drink large amounts of alcohol.
College students drink. Sometimes they drink a lot, and sometimes that excessive drinking leads to tragedy.
The craziness of youth may cost teens more than they bargain for, and for a longer time.
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.