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Alcohol Use On College Campuses

Alcohol Use On College Campuses

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Keg parties, drinking games and all-night drinking marathons are common occurrences on college campuses across the nation. Alcohol use on college campuses is not a new problem. It is, however, an issue that colleges and universities must continue to address.

The statistics are alarming. Four out of five college students drink alcohol in some form. Almost 600,000 students age 18 to 24 are injured each year while under the influence, almost 700,000 are assaulted, about 25 percent of students report academic problems due to drinking.

Binge drinking is the routine consumption of amounts of alcohol that bring the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level to 0.08 g/dL or greater. This can pose serious safety and health risks, including car accidents, assaults and alcohol poisoning. With about one-half of college students who drink alcohol reporting that they binge drink, it has become a large problem. More importantly, it can lead to another problem: alcoholism. Research shows that almost 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder or alcohol related disorders. Studies also show that only around 5 percent of these students sought any kind of help or treatment for alcohol related problems.

Alcohol Use On College Campuses

Research is showing that there is a potential for long-term effects to students’ development and physiology. These may include issues with memory and slower reaction times. In addition, there is strong evidence that alcohol use in young adults may damage the frontal cortex of the brain, which continues to develop into an individual’s early 20s. This area of the brain is responsible for judgment, reasoning, impulse control, self-regulation and problem solving. Physiologically studies have shown that alcohol consumption in late teens and early 20s can affect growth as well as endocrine, liver and bone development. Problems later in life can include cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, a dual diagnosis of a mental illness, continued memory issues and increased chances of alcohol dependence moving forward into adulthood.

When a student has a problem and needs to seek help, there are numerous options, both inpatient and outpatient. Examples of these include rehabilitation centers and alcohol addiction treatment. Choosing an option is dependent on the needs of the student. The more intense programs include detox, rehab and halfway houses. Not all students would benefit from this rehab structure. Some students flourish in outpatient treatment, with a recovery counselor or a peer counselor. Each situation is different and requires the student to discuss options with his or her family and treatment team.

Regardless of the treatment choices made, it is imperative that the student have a good support system as they work through therapy. Recovery is possible by connecting with a good treatment center or therapist who can support and guide the student through the process of rehab and beyond.

Alcohol Addiction In Senior Citizens

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Although most of the focus for binge drinking and alcohol addiction is centered on high school students, senior citizens comprise a surprisingly large slice of the addiction pie chart. Multiple news stories and media outlets have begun reporting on this phenomenon, uncovering that seniors are becoming increasingly likely to abuse alcohol and prescription medication.

Individuals who are in their 60s and 70s today were young adults during the time when drug use was entering mainstream America. As they begin to grow older and suffer all of the difficulties associated with old age, it looks like many are turning to the bottle as their newfound friend and coping mechanism. Although people of all ages experience hardships and struggles, those experienced by the elderly are unique and worth taking a look at. The loss of friends and loved ones, isolation and separation from family and society, decreasing health and increasing ailments- these factors and more are pushing the elderly towards their next drink. Whether they’re using alcohol as an alternative to prescription painkillers or as a remedy for grief and loneliness, their rates of alcohol abuse are steadily on the rise.

Alcohol Addiction In Senior Citizens

Difference in Medical Treatment

When asked about his experience, a treatment professional commented by noting the difference in medical treatment between the old and the young. If a middle-aged man approached a doctor seeking treatment for back pain, the doctor would likely recommend physical therapy. But if he was in his early 70s, that same doctor would probably recommend. A strong pain killer. Opiate medications like these have a high potential for abuse, partially because the user to builds a tolerance, which forces them to increase their dose up to potentially fatal levels.

Facts and Statistics

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducted a study in 2011 comparing the rates of substance abuse in those over 50 with their rates in 2002. Their findings indicated that there was a significant increase in substance abuse, growing from 2.7% in 2002 to 6.3% in 2011. Among those substances, alcohol was reported as the most frequently used. Following behind alcohol were marijuana and prescription painkillers

Similarly, the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence has reported that the levels of elderly patients admitted into substance abuse treatment have increased dramatically over recent years. Admissions have increased by 70% between 2000 and 2008, even though the amount of individuals over 50 in the United States only increased by 21%.

What Can We Do?

Treating seniors differently than young people in terms of prescribing medication is not the solution. Instead of special consideration, California alcohol addiction doctors should instead look at non-narcotic solutions to their pain, such as diet and exercise.

If you have a parent taking prescription medication, keep an eye on what they’re taking and how much. Take a peek around their cupboards and see if they have any alcohol, and check again the next time you’re there to see how much they’ve had in the interval.

We also recommend substance abuse treatment programs. Northbound Treatment Services offers a wide range of inpatient programs for alcohol abuse and addiction, and doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the age of our clients. We feel strongly that no matter how old you are or what you’ve experienced, there is always the possibility of a happy life free from addiction. If you’re interested in taking a look at our treatment programs, please click on the following link, or contact us today at (866) 536-4356.