SNC brings alcohol awareness to campus

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SNC brings alcohol awareness to campus

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

Photo: Creative Commons

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College alcohol abuse is a major problem on many campuses. Drinking at college has become a ritual that students often see as an integral part of their higher education experience.  However, harmful and underage college drinking are significant public health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.

According to a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 60 percent of college students ages 18-22 drank alcohol in a month, and almost two out of three engaged in binge-drinking during the same timeframe.

Elizabeth Thibodeau, director of student affairs, says SNC does a multitude of awareness programming to bring helpful information to students.

“Alcohol awareness is one that we like to address early in the fall semester and then again this time of year to give our students something to ponder right before spring break,” Thibodeau said. “In addition to hosting our most recent event, Flip Cup and Alcohol Awareness, we also provide an information table in the dining hall where students can obtain helpful tips on staying safe during spring break.”

The consequences of harmful and underage college drinking is severe. According to a report by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, approximately 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle accidents.

The abuse of alcohol by college students  has legal, medical and academic ramifications. For example the above study also found that each year about 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

The Annual Review of Public Health reported that 97,000 students each year between the ages of 18 and 24 reported experienced alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that, out of all the problematic drinking patterns, binge drinking is the deadliest. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking involves consuming an excessive amount of alcohol over a two-hour period, which raises one’s blood-alcohol concentration to 0.08 precent or more, the level at which it is illegal to drive. For men, this usually involves five drinks or more, and for women, this is typically four drinks or more, in a two-hour time span.

The popularity of drinking games on college campuses, often called “the game with no winner,” encourages binge drinking because alcohol consumption is the main focus. Common drinking games on college campuses are: beer pong, flip cup and quarters.

The findings summarized by researchers at the University of Indiana found that as many as 81 percent of college students have taken part in a drinking game at some point in their life. Among self-proclaimed college “drinkers” the rate is 91 percent.

Maea Wistrom, a junior marketing and economics major believes drinking games contribute to college students drinking in excess.

“Because of the nature of the game I have known people who have drank more than they were planning on,” she said. “Once they do, it begins to go south for them and they regret it.”

Cole Kennedy, a senior economics and finance major says it is important to understand your limits and act responsibly.

“Drinking games require you to drink quickly and if you don’t know your limitations bad things can happen,” he said. “I believe in having a good time, but throwing up and blacking out is not healthy. People need to know their boundary and not cross it.”

The health risks posed by binge-drinking have been documented in multiple reports compiled by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. More than 150,000 college students develop an alcohol-related health problem on a yearly basis. These issues include:

-Liver disease

-Central nervous system disease

-Alcohol poisoning

-Addiction

-Loss and death of brain cells

-High blood pressure

-Heart disease

-Stroke

To avoid binge drinking and its consequences, college students (and all people who drink) are advised to track the number of drinks they consume over a given period of time.

The results of the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study found that about one in four college students report academic consequences from drinking to excess, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams and assignments, and receiving lower grades overall.

SNC is working to bring alcohol awareness to its student body, and strives to ensure the safety of all of its students. SNC’s administrators have incorporated within the campus procedures, policies and expectations located within the student handbook that the misuse of drugs and alcohol will not be tolerated. Violations of these provisions will be subject to disciplinary action that could lead to the arrest and/or suspension or expulsion of the violator.

SNC’s Annual Campus Crime Statistics Report may be found on the SNC website.  The report revealed that there were no arrests on campus, or in student housing relating to drug abuse or liquor law violations for years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The above report revealed the number of disciplinary actions taken on campus for liquor law violations in 2015, 2016 and 2017 as 32, 30 and 34 respectively, with actions taken for drug abuse violations on campus during the same time period as 17, 18 and 23, respectively.

Hayden Takahashi, student affairs assistant says what students choose to put in their bodies is ultimately up to them.

“However, we try our best to make information and resources available to them should they feel unsafe or need assistance,” she said.

SNC encourages students to reach out to staff and faculty if they need assistance. Crisis intervention 24-hour hotline: 800 736-1060; on-campus counseling service: Therapist Kelly Root, MFT-Intern Fridays 11 a.m.-1 p.m., in Patterson Hall, room 212

Appointments may be made via email, [email protected] Or, if the door is open, walk-ins are welcome.

The Alcohol Addiction Center may be contacted at alcoholaddictioncenter.org/alcohol-resources. This organization provides information resources free of charge for individuals and their families struggling with alcohol related issues.

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