Binge drinking in college hasn’t changed much since the 1980’s but heavy drinking is a major problem. Learn more about what problem drinking looks like, find some talking points to address with a college student and how to open engaging conversation about drinking habits.
Moderate drinking behavior is defined as 2 drinks per day. Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking anywhere from 4 to 5 drinks in a two hour period of time. Nearly half of college students who drink also binge drink. Some important information exists to keep in mind when speaking with a college student.
Drinking has health consequences
Heavy drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning, unintentional injuries, addiction and health problems such as high blood pressure, stroke and other issues. Scaring students can have contrary effects but it is important students are aware binge drinking is risky.
High tolerance is not good
The dangers associated with having a high threshold for drinking alcohol means a person does not know when to quit and, as tolerance increases, decreased effects occur with the same amount which produced intoxication and the desire to drink will increase. A high threshold is not so much an indicator of strength as it puts individuals at greater risk for potential health issues.
Heavy drinking jumpstarts addiction
Heavy drinking tends to lead to alcoholism and substance abuse issues. The stats are higher for individuals with a genetic predisposition. Surveys find heavy drinkers who cut back drinking without treatment do fine but others who struggle and have negative coping skills need treatment to get better.
Individuals who drink heavily sometimes experience blackouts or bouts of amnesia while conscious. Young adults are disproportionately impacted by alcohol-related blackouts and exposed to increased risks for severe and fatal health outcomes. Common highly damaging outcomes may include exposure to sexual assaults, sexual assaults and motor vehicle accidents.
Heavy drinking may trigger mental health issues
Heavy drinking can have an impact on a person’s psychological well being. Moderating or abstaining from drinking may have a positive impact on mental health. Whether the mental health condition was present before or induced due to heavy drinking, mental health problems can be challenging and need proper evaluation and treatment.
Social media normalizes drinking
Peer pressure can influence how teens behave. People never want to think they are moved by other’s choices but tend to mimic actions of immediate social groups. It is important to know social media normalizes drinking behavior and peers can have alot of influence in how other teens perceive themselves or others as far as drinking and substance use go.
The Villa supports individuals and families with addiction and substance use disorders. Contact us if you want to learn more about how to regain control of your life from addiction.