Facts and Statistics
Here are a few sobering statistics on how drinking too much, too often can put a serious damper on your dreams of achieving academic glory--or even your dreams of just graduating:
- According to the Core Institute, an organization that surveys college drinking practices, 300,000 of today's college students will eventually die of alcohol-related causes such as drunk driving accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, various cancers and heart disease.
- 159,000 of today's first- year college students will drop out of school next year for alcohol- or other drug-related reasons. The average student spends about $900 on alcohol each year. Do you want to know how much cash the average student drops on his or her books? About $450.
- Almost one-third of college students admit to having missed at least one class because of their alcohol or drug use, and nearly one-quarter of students report bombing a test or project because of the aftereffects of drinking or doing drugs.
- One night of heavy drinking can impair your ability to think abstractly for up to 30 days, limiting your ability to relate textbook reading to what your professor says, or to think through a football play.
Myths about alcohol use
Myth # 1: "I'm more fun when I drink."
REALITY: Believe us, no one thinks you're fun when you're slurring, stumbling all over the place, puking in your pillow, or keeping your roommate up all night. There's a big difference between laughing with someone and at someone. Do you really want to be someone's entertainment?
Myth # 2: "Everyone drinks heavily at parties so they can relax and hang out."
REALITY: Though many people use alcohol to help themselves loosen up in social situations, if you'd stop drinking for a sec to take a closer look, you'd realize that most people aren't drinking heavily. There are only a few people who really get trashed at parties, lose control, embarrass themselves, or endanger their lives.
Myth # 3: "It totally mellows me out to smoke a little weed after I throw back a few beers."
REALITY: Mixing drugs--including drugs like alcohol and marijuana--has what scientists call an "additive effect." This means you'll feel the intoxication from both. So don't kid yourself into thinking you'll have a few drinks and then "mellow out" by smoking pot. Sure, you may feel mellow, but what you really are is wasted.
Myth # 4: "It's no one else's business how much I drink. I can handle it."
REALITY: If you're drunk and lose your keys and then have to pound on the door until your roommate wakes up and lets you in, that affects your roommate. In fact, studies show that one person's drinking habits can affect an average of five people other than the drinker. Still think it's nobody else's business?
Myth # 5: "If I didn't drink, there would be nothing to do at my school."
REALITY: Uh, hello? It's called a college handbook. Maybe you stuck yours under your bed after the first week of school. Find it, read it, and learn about the clubs, sports, and service organizations your school offers. You may be surprised to find out how many people are involved in extracurricular activities other than the Drinking Team.
Myth # 6: "I'm having as much fun as I can while I'm in college. As soon as I graduate I'll get my act together."
REALITY: Your drinking habits can keep you from attending class, studying regularly, or getting involved in a career-oriented club or internship. Plus, if you're thinking of going to grad school, you still need to be making the grade so that your transcript looks good to graduate schools. One other thing to keep in mind: even though no one goes to school intending to become an alcoholic, heavy drinking behavior in college can ultimately lead some people to full-blown alcoholism after college.
Myth # 7: "Even though my mom or dad is an alcoholic, I know how to drink without letting it get out of hand."
REALITY: Maybe, maybe not. Children who grow up in homes with parental alcoholism are three to four times more likely to become alcoholics themselves. Though this doesn't mean you'll definitely have an alcohol problem if one of your parents does, it does mean you should pay special attention to your behavior. You are not like people whose parents aren't alcoholics.
Myth # 8: "I just drink socially."
REALITY: Drinking with other people doesn't make you a social drinker. Social drinkers might drink regularly but they don't get drunk. Nor does a social drinker exhibit any of the clinical signs of addiction to alcohol like out-of-control behavior while under the influence, inability to control alcohol cravings, and severe memory loss, like blackouts. Flip to the last page of this brochure, take the self-assessment test, and find out for sure if alcohol plays too big a part in your life.
Alcohol Information Websites
- Test what your BAC level will be based on your gender, weight and number of drinks you think you will have with this fun interactive BAC Calculator:http://www.friendsdrivesober.org/alcohol_drugs_driving/bac.html
- Learn about Alcohol statistics, facts and useful information:www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov
- Learn more about the dangers of drinking and driving at:www.friendsdrivesober.org
- Worried about your alcohol intake? Take the alcohol screening:www.alcoholscreening.org