For many college students, drinking heavily and experimenting with drugs is almost considered a rite of passage. It’s assumed that everybody does it. That isn’t necessarily the reality, although it can be difficult not drink at college. For those who choose to stay sober, today’s climate of binge drinking can make avoiding alcohol a challenge.
The tendency among college students to drink excessively might lead others to think that drinking alcohol in large quantities is the socially accepted norm. Many of their friends may drink or do drugs, so the pressure to participate makes it harder to stay sober.
College is a stressful time for most students. After all, they are not only studying difficult subjects and trying to get their life in order, but they are also dealing with unique personal and romantic problems. Unfortunately, many of these students turn to drugs and alcohol.
When teenagers go to college, they are often away from their parents for the first time in their lives. As a result, they want to impress those people and begin feeling the need to fit in. This is true even for students who avoided alcohol and drugs in high school.
In college, what starts as seemingly harmless experimentation can quickly progress to regular abuse and even addiction. Binge drinking can have many negative consequences for those involved. About 25 percent of college students who frequently binge drink are more likely to miss class and experience a drop in grades. Those who binge drink are also more likely to be involved in vandalism, experience an injury, engage in unplanned and unprotected sex, driving while intoxicated, experience arrests and other legal implications.
Those who would like to maintain their sobriety should take measures to avoid triggers and situations in which heavy drinking is likely to occur. Students should:
- Learn how to say “no” if they don’t want to drink.
- Volunteer to be the designated driver.
- Tell friends that you are not drinking.
- Hold a nonalcoholic drink to cut down on drink offers.
- Try to engage in school-sponsored activities or help organize sports or other activities for sober people.
- Have friends that don’t drink.
If your child is struggling with alcohol addiction, The Bougainville House can help. We offer individual, couple, and family therapy programs. Call us to learn more. 954-764-7337