Drinking alcohol and doing drugs has become part of the college culture. It is almost like a rite of passage for young adults. Most college kids, if not a majority, will at one time drink alcohol and even experiment with drugs. Statistics have concluded that roughly 1.4 million American college students drink alcohol each day. Most consume four drinks and stop. That is right below the amount necessary to be determined binge drinking. Many will consume more and some less. Those students may wait a day, week or even a month before re-consuming again. This is normal college student behavior. Although, normal or not, it is still a dangerous habit. Approximately 900,000 students will smoke marijuana, 15,000 will do cocaine, 13,000 will do hallucinogens and more than 7,200 will experiment with heroin. These numbers do not lie. College students engage in risky behavior on a daily basis, behavior that can complicate their futures. Yet, most of those students move on to graduate from college and enter into the next phase of their lives. Statistically speaking problematic drinking and drug consumption of college students is not disturbing and seems to be diminishing.

Dangers of Problematic Drinking and Drug Use

Every year there are a staggering number of deaths and accidents that are drug and alcohol related. These are all tragedies that could have easily been prevented. Institutions with higher concentrations of binge drinking and drug use have higher dropout rates. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states that college alcohol abuse has led to 1,825 deaths, 690,000 assaults, 97,000 sexual assaults, 599,000 other injuries and 150,000 alcohol related health problems. It is not just college students that are bigger drinkers, individuals between 18 and 25 are the heaviest drinking age group. Problematic drinking can lead to a number of different problems. College students definitely need to blow off steam every once and awhile, but over consuming alcohol is not the way to do it.

Problematic Drinking Decreasing

While these numbers are astonishing and dangerous, the trend of problematic drinking is in decline. Studies show that that age group has reported less illicit drug use and abuse; other than marijuana. There has been a steep decline in tobacco use. Alcohol use and abuse is still high, but the rates of problematic drinking have decreased. One of eight college students is out drinking on any given night, but that means that the other seven are not. Colleges offer a wide variety of different options that students can utilize to help blow off stress. Activities, sports and clubs are great ways to relieve stress. Colleges also have different programs to educate young adults on the dangers of substance abuse. Alcohol educational programs are becoming increasingly popular for colleges. Many colleges require new students to take these online educational surveys before they can enter the institution. Some of these programs take several hours to complete and schools accept their completion survey. They are completely accessible via the internet, which offers new students flexibility to complete. Surveys have been taken of college students several years after taking the alcohol courses. Majority of the students admitted to not enjoying the program, but also admitted to learning something from it. Most believe that these educational programs should be used for future students and that the program made them think twice about the way the consumed alcohol. Parents should also speak with their college children about the dangers binge drinking and safe ways to relieve the stress of college courses and life.

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