Alcohol and college make a poor duo
It’s the classic phrase: "I’m only going to have a few drinks."
What happens, however when a few drinks, maybe two or three, become six or seven?
There isn’t anything wrong with a person celebrating a special event or going to happy hour with friends or co-workers. That’s acceptable.
What isn’t acceptable is consuming a dozen drinks almost every night to the point of drunkenness.
According to the Center for Disease Control Web site, alcoholism is described as having a strong craving for alcohol, the incapacity to limit one’s drinking and feeling physically ill when drinking stops.
Thirty-one percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol abuse, a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs reported.
That’s not surprising considering everything a college student goes through.
Besides academic obligations, students, especially UH students, have other duties that require their attention just as much as his or her homework, such as a job.
Looking at the issue from another viewpoint, to some freshmen students going away to college equals being free from parental control.
A student’s freshman year is usually the "experimental" year. A student will try something once or twice just to see what it is like. Sometimes the student will do things just to fit in with his or her new friends.
However, fitting in or going along with the crowd doesn’t always pay off in the end.
In fact, according to www.factsontap.org, approximately 159,000 first year students will drop out of school their sophomore year due to alcohol-related issues.
On the other side of this debate, various studies have been done to determine whether there is a genetic predisposition to alcoholism.
While scientists have been conducting case studies on alcoholism since the seventies, the findings of the studies are still inconclusive.
Regardless, if alcohol abuse is a learned or innate action, it is still very harmful to the individual and those around them.
Sometimes the person with the alcohol dependency alienates the people who love him or her.
At other times, a person’s career and academic goals suffer because he or she is too drunk, or still nursing a hangover to perform their duties or obligations.
However the how, why or when the alcohol abuse began, it is important to remember there are ways to stop, ways to recover and most importantly, ways to return to regular life.
Editor’s note: If you think you have an alcohol problem, contact UH’s Counseling and Psychological Services at (713) 743-5454.
Latimer, a creative writing post baccalaureate student, can be reached via [email protected]