Alcohol consequences

For college students, alcohol is the drug of choice. It’s available. It’s cheap. It’s socially acceptable.

Alcohol is used by many without any ill effects to help them relax or be more comfortable in a social situation.

When people think about getting in trouble with alcohol, they only think of addiction. On a college campus, however, addiction to alcohol is not the greatest health problem of students.

The immediate health consequences which may occur as a result of alcohol consumption pose the greatest single threat to the health of college students.

On an average campus of 1,000 students, the frequency of negative consequences include the following:

50 alcoholics

430 high dose alcohol users

280 alcohol-related fights

280 alcohol-related injuries33 alcohol-related sexual assaults

90 alcohol-related sexually transmitted diseases

When students learn to abstain, how to drink safely, how to care for those who overindulge and how to reduce the risks associated with alcohol use, then they are less likely to hurt themselves or others.

Drinkers who are at higher risk for harm are those who consume more than five drinks at a time.

The current national research indicates heavy drinkers are more likely to experience fights, have accidents, injuries, or sexual problems than are moderate or light drinkers or abstainers.

Heavy drinkers are most likely young, inexperienced drinkers not able to safely ‘handle’ the effects of their drinking.

As college students mature, their use of alcohol becomes more responsible in that they drink fewer drinks in one sitting and are less likely to experience negative consequences as a result of their drinking.

One good method which may be used to stay at a safe drinking limit is the zero-one-three concept of alcohol use.

(Note: use of alcohol by pregnant women, people on medication and those addicted to alchohol may always be harmful.)

ZER0: “It’s OK not to drink.”

ONE: “One drink per hour.”

THREE: “Limit drinks to three per day.”

The zero-one-three concept supports those who choose to abstain, and also offers guidelines to those drinkers who wish to avoid the risks associated with alcohol use.