The Lifetime Effects of Alcohol Abuse in College
College is a time to discover new ways of looking at things, to explore your horizons and for many it is the opportunity to engage in athletics, participate in “Greek life”, join a club or be involved in student government. Unfortunately, college life has also been linked to alcohol abuse including hazing and binge drinking. The fact is that the lifetime effects of alcohol abuse in college may include a shortened lifetime span.
First Time Away from Home… Wanting to Fit In
It should come as no surprise that for many college students engaging in alcohol use, it is their first time away from home and they want to fit in. The transition from high school graduation to college life is a milestone in every teenager’s life. With the new freedom comes independence. Most students do not see the harm in having a few drinks at a college party. However, there are negative consequences that can occur from drinking behavior including financial and academic problems, possibility that alcohol use can lead to other substance abuse and personal risk. In fact, studies show that there is a strong relationship between alcohol and sexual assault on college campuses.
Binge Drinking and College Students
According to the CDC, binge drinking is the most common method of alcohol use on college campuses. Binge drinking is when the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 grams or higher and occurs when an individual consumes more than four drinks (women) and five drinks (men) in a two hour time span. Eighty-one percent of college students use alcohol and one in six reported binge drinking four times a month. Although the average age of college students using alcohol is 18 to 34 years, at least 70 percent of college binge drinking involves students age 26 and older. College binge drinking has been linked to driving under the influence that resulted in auto accidents with injury or fatality. Additionally, there have been incidents in which alcohol was involved in water accidents including drowning, as well as gun injuries and fatalities. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and consuming too much alcohol (binge drinking) in a brief period of time can result in alcohol poisoning which could lead to coma and death.
Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol abuse in college could have a long-term detrimental impact on the liver. The most common effect is cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver. Cirrhosis is liver disease and it is permanent and not reversible. Once you have it – you have it for the rest of your life. Another condition that has been linked to alcohol abuse is Ascites which is the collecting of fluid in the abdomen. If liver disease is not enough, alcohol abuse can result in damage to the heart muscle which can lead to an irregular heart rate, high blood pressure and put the individual at risk for heart attack and stroke. Alcohol abuse has a negative impact on how the brain functions and can influence how the brain processes information, and the way the brain controls the body. Excessive alcohol abuse can interrupt brain signals which relates to behavior and mood changes. Alcohol abuse will interfere with the brain’s ability of motor control. Alcohol and drug abuse can have a lasting impact on brain development. Between the age of 12 and 20, there are many crucial physiological and psychological developmental changes occurring. Individuals engaging in alcohol and drug abuse put their futures at risk.
The fact is that alcohol abuse can turn into alcoholism which is addiction. The lifetime consequences of alcohol addiction can be overwhelming including health and financial crisis, a breakdown in relationships and damage to integrity and reputation. If your alcohol abuse started in college and you are ready to stop, Gallus Detox Center can help. Call us today at 855-338-6929.