The university setting can be a tempting place for many; from tailgates, homecoming and nights out, drinking is often glorified and even promoted in the college atmosphere. According to The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) roughly 80 percent of university students consume alcohol and half of those report binge drinking, making college often synonymous with alcohol.
According to an article published by the National Public Radio, a national survey showed the low price of alcohol and increased availability around college campuses played a significant role in increased reports of student binge drinking. Along with drink specials and wide availability, the false sense of security depicted on campus contributes to many students’ desire to experiment with overdrinking.
Many students are naïve to the ill effects of alcohol; Because it is legal, few liken the dangers to illicit and prescription drugs despite the fact that it is no secret alcohol impairs our judgment, lowers our inhibitions and puts us at risk for violence, sexual assault and even death. For example, just in the month of September alone, there has been headline news of a Rutgers University student who died after drinking at a fraternity house, as well as a University of Virginia student disappearing after a night drinking with friends.
Alcohol abuse is specifically threatening to our mental health. Depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior are frequently found co-occurring with substance abuse. Women who drink regularly are likely to struggle with inadequate sleep, increased irritability and unhealthy relationships. A woman with pre-existing mood disorders such as borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder is at greater risk of the ill and addicting repercussion of college drinking. The NIAAA reports 19 percent of college students ages 18-24 met the criteria for alcohol abuse and dependence.
College is often the first time young people are on their own solely responsible for their decisions and the resulting consequences. For those with social anxiety, depression, impulsivity or stress, drinking is often used as a coping tool. Brookhaven Retreat works with women of all ages to establish proficient coping strategies and empowers them to utilize therapeutic life skills that promote a healthy, productive and safe lifestyle.