Most young people are looking forward to going away to college. College for them is a gateway to freedom and independence. Young students can learn to live away from their parents, learn how to manage their time for studies, social life and even work. College students can also learn how to live their life and build character for themselves. College is not just about studying to get a degree or to secure a good future for them, this is also about having fun, trying new things and meeting new people.
Life in college can be stressful, especially when studies conflict with work and other activities. College can also be known for its many parties and drinking sessions with friends. Since most of the college students are 18 years old or older, everyone is in a legal age to buy and drink alcoholic beverages. Most college students find an escape with the different problems they are facing in life through drinking and partying. However, there is an emerging social problem when it comes to college parties, binge drinking.
Binge drinking is defined as heavy episodic consumption of alcoholic beverage with a primary goal of getting drunk. Binge drinking is sometimes confused with social drinking since most binge drinking activities are done in groups. This activity can go on for days and the drinker can transform into a self-destructive person who drops out of classes and work, gets into fights, squanders money and even engaging in risky, unprotected sex. This is specifically a person that has no control on their behavior and actions. This is now considered as a public health issue, a major one in fact.
College campuses have reported that the misuse of alcohol is a major problem and can be the greatest threat when it comes to college campus quality. For students engaging in binge drinking, this may seem as a fun activity that can help them get away from all the pressure of the college life, fit in to a new crowd or simply have fun. They may not see the real dangers of binge drinking since most are preoccupied with the fun effects of drinking, the negative effects that they can only see is the terrible hangover and head splitting headache after recovering from an all-night drinking and partying.
So, what exactly are the real dangers of binge drinking? The misuse of alcohol can lead into alcohol dependency or alcohol abuse. Addiction to these alcoholic beverages can definitely alter a person’s mood, behavior and character. All of these can result to impulsiveness, erratic changes in behavior and lack of control. But the truly sobering though is the number of deaths from Binge drinking. This is not fun this can be life threatening. This Report from USnews contains some dire binge drinking statistics as to why this is not fun but a a life or death issue.
Hang over and a terrible headache coupled with vomiting are just the “usual” short term effects of binge drinking. Aside from these, students that go binge drinking all night or perhaps all week long can also suffer from alcohol poisoning, constant black outs and can even run into accidents especially if they drink and drive. DUI or Driving Under Influence is a serious legal offense, which can lead to arrest and jail time. There is an average of 1 in every 7 road deaths that are caused by drinking too much alcohol while driving.
There are also long term health effects that college binge drinking can bring to a person. The constant and heavy consumption of alcohol can deteriorate several organs of the body. The liver is specifically at risk since heavy drinkers can risk contracting hepatitis, cirrhosis and even fatty liver. Drinkers may also suffer from pancreatitis, heart disease, hypertensive, cancer and even mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. These are just some of the most common health illnesses that a binge drinker may get.
Drinking per se is somewhat a rite of passage in most college campuses; this is one reason why it is difficult to put an end to the misuse of alcohol among college students. Prevention is always better than cure, and one of the best ways to prevent a student to go binge drinking is through proper education. Teaching kids the value of responsible drinking before they go to college can go a long way. This can help them fight off binge drinking and avoid its ill effects.
Binge drinking can be a college culture which is almost impossible to eradicate. However, there is one thing that people can change – perception. If you can change how you perceive college and drinking, then it may not be difficult to prevent the popularity of binge drinking among college students. This can reduce the different risks and effects of drinking among students. This can also lower down the number of students that are already diagnosed as alcohol dependent or alcohol addiction.
College students must also be aware of the grave dangers of binge drinking. This means that education on responsible drinking should not stop at high school. College campuses should also provide lectures that discuss the different ill effects of too much alcohol in the system. This way college students will always be reminded that the misuse of alcohol can easily end up as alcohol addiction.
Students who constantly go on binge drinking are going down a spiral road. They may lose focus on school and work, and may end up as a college dropout, unemployed with no direction in life. It is heart breaking to know that these kids who still have a brighter future ahead of them can easily waste this opportunity in just a couple of drinks.