When one thinks about drinking culture on college campuses the first thing that comes to mind is a frat house or a sorority house full of young men and women drinking to excess. Of course, the problem of undergraduate binge drinking is real and needs to be addressed. Undergrad binge drinking can cause individuals to develop life-long alcohol use and dependence problems.
Yet, what many people don’t realize is that the drinking culture extends to academics and graduate students as well. If the people who are in positions of leadership at these institutions promote a culture of drinking, and in some cases, a culture of binge drinking, then how can we expect undergraduates to limit their drinking or follow suit?
A recent Slate article recently reported on a young anthropology professor’s experience when she went to an on-campus interview and found herself being driven around town by a drunk senior faculty member. She recalls being frightened for her life. The Slate article suggested that academics’ flexible hours, culture of drinking, and minimal oversight results in a culture whereby the campus leaders who educate young men and women may not be setting the example that could allow students to develop healthy habits or lead healthy lives.
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ran articles that investigated why college campuses haven’t been able to stop binge drinking. Research has found that colleges and universities use a warning or information-based strategy to prevent binge drinking on college campuses. Yet, this same research has found that these strategies don’t work. Public service announcements don’t stop binge drinking. Enforcement on campuses does. Budget limitations and campus culture may all contribute to these failures.
The sad fact of alcohol abuse on campus remains true. Every year, 1,800 college students die due to alcohol use and 100,000 become victims of sexual assaults in which alcohol was involved. Another 600,000 students become injured while drunk. Countless others will have their lives devastated by alcohol addiction or abuse. 25% of college students admit that their drinking has affected their studies and 40% of students admit to binge drinking.
Drinking that interferes with work or life activities is clearly problematic and in some cases, students who find themselves victim to alcohol use or abuse may require a treatment program. While the first few weeks on campus are often the most dangerous for deadly binge drinking, students can find their lives devastated by alcohol at any time. Parents can help by maintaining close contact with their children, learning about alcohol enforcement policies, and learn about their children’s living arrangements. Parents can also get help for their children if their children are suffering academic failure or other difficulties as a result of alcohol use or abuse.
The Program West Palm Beach offers a range of alcohol treatment options for individuals of all ages who are victims of alcoholism or alcohol abuse. Contact us today to learn about how we can help.