Every year, millions of teenagers enroll for higher education, and the main purpose behind this is to acquire better education that might help them in building better career prospects. Alcohol can lead to various health-related problems such as liver disease, high blood pressure, heart-related ailments, some kinds of cancers, and injuries due to violence (as a result of intoxication) (Zelman, 2005).
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Rules and regulations about the use of alcohol in the college premises cannot guarantee observance by the students. They need proper guidance and real-life examples to understand the ill-effects of alcohol. Excessive drinking of alcohol can divert the attention of students from studies and indulge them into futile acts that give pleasure. Students might lose their sense of concentration and get involved in anti-social acts.
Educational institutions are meant to impart better education to students so that they can do better in their lives. Such incidents of drinking and their implications can ruin the students’ future. Educational institutions have a moral obligation towards students and their parents.
The menace of alcohol has spread to a great extent among students. Over the years, there has been an increase in the hospitalization of ASU students and other youth who have been under the influence of alcohol. It is saddening to note that on average, 1825 students die annually, throughout the country, due to the ill-effects of alcohol (Cataruzulo, 2013). Almost 42% of students are addicted to binge drinking (Cataruzulo, 2013).
Such students do not give any importance to the health implications of drinking alcohol. A similar report from the University of Arizona (2007) revealed that every year alcohol consumption was the cause of death of 1,400 students, 500,000 injuries, 670,000 incidents of violence (including sexual violence), and 400,000 cases of unprotected sex.
Alcohol consumption also prevented almost 25% of students from attending classes, as a result of which their academic performance was poor. The ‘2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance’ report depicts astounding data.
According to the report, among the high school students (national level) who were in some way associated with unlawful drugs, almost 34.6% were from Arizona. Arizona also represented 26.5% of high school students engaged in excessive drinking. These figures put Arizona’s students in the first place (Padilla, 2013). Parents feel proud when their children secure higher ranks in academics, but this is something that they would be disgusted about.
Drinking within the college premises is not a new problem. It has been prevalent in American colleges for the past several years. Drinking up to a certain limit is not harmful. Even doctors suggest drinking small doses of alcohol to remain healthy. Of late, drinking alcohol has become a fashion and sometimes a competition.
The case of Aidan Mohr is witness to such competition. He reportedly participated in a shots competition and due to excess drinking, landed in a hospital (Holland, 2013). If at all students need to compete, it should be in the academic field, and such positive feelings can be inculcated in them by their parents, teachers, and society.
Parents have a critical role to play in the upbringing of their children. Children usually imitate their parents. As such, children of parents who are habituated drinkers tend to adopt this habit at a very early stage (Chassin, Curran, Hussong, & Colder, 1996). Another reason might be the social network that a person has. It is reported that friends and other acquaintances can have an impact on drinking habits (Rosenquist, Murabito, Fowler, & Christakis, 2010).
If a person has a friend who drinks regularly, then there are 50% chances that he also might start drinking. Also, if his friend’s friend has the habit of drinking, there is a 36% possibility that he also might start drinking (Rosenquist et al., 2010).
The immediate reason that could have started the concept of college-drinking might be attributed to the policies of ASU. According to the policies of ASU, drinking alcohol is permissible within the campus on some special occasions such as cultural events, invitational events, educational events, and other functions (ASU, 2014). It should be understood that alcohol is an intoxicating agent that can lead a person to its addiction.
It is quite possible that students, who have not tried alcohol in the past, get influenced by their friends during such events and would want to try alcohol. Once they have the feeling of intoxication, they will feel like trying it again. It is also reported that some students of ASU were paid to do drink alcohol for research purpose. This seems to be very absurd, but this is what happened in Dr. Corbin’s laboratory, where a pub ambiance was also created (Kiebus, 2011).
Legalization of alcohol has facilitated the consumption of alcohol among the youth. According to Anderson, Hansen, & Rees, (2013), the youth were the major chunk of people who took benefit of such legalization and consumed alcohol. The ASU has strict policies about drinking alcohol in its campus; possession of alcohol in the campus is illegal and even empty liquor bottles are not allowed to be kept in the campus (ASU, 2012).
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Even raising the drinking age to 21 years has not stopped youngsters from drinking (Hanson, 2013). Educational institutions allow advertising of alcohol and its related products within the college campus (O’Malley & Johnston, 2005). Such advertisements act as stimulating agents that entice students to drink alcohol. Moreover, educational institutions are meant for imparting education rather than being an advertising platform.
People have a misconception that alcohol releases stress and gives pleasure (Issues in addiction and eating disorders, 2011). It is very crucial to remove such misconceptions from the students’ minds. Drinking alcohol within the college premises could lead to arrest by the local police and subsequent humiliation can have an impact on the morale of students.
Soave (2013) reported that during August-September 2013, police detained 1,367 people for an offense of drinking alcohol. Most of these people were students who were detained from the ASU campus. Students should be discouraged to drink alcohol, especially within the ASU premises.
ASU should revise its policies about the use of alcohol within its campus. Advertisements featuring alcohol and its related products should not be displayed within the campus.
Endeavors to persuade students to abstain from drinking alcohol should be started even before they enroll for higher studies. Such endeavors should continue throughout the initial years of higher studies. The implications of drinking should be highlighted through programs like group activities and role plays.
ASU and other educational institutions, with the help of parents, should try to remove the misconception from the students’ minds about the popularity of alcohol. Students should be taught the ways to desist from alcohol. Parents and society should be involved in such endeavors. All the proposed methods do not involve any expenses at all.
These proposals merely need the cooperation of parents, society, teachers, and educational institutions. The benefits of these proposals can be very encouraging because man is a social animal, and emotions have a greater impact than strict rules and regulations.
Counseling sessions for students could help in persuading them to desist from alcohol. Organizing special events as role plays regularly could help in motivating the students to come out from their misconceptions. Frequent meetings where students and their parents, along with members of society, are invited should be conducted so that an emotional impact can be had on the students.
Regular training of teachers and students can help in devising new strategies to combat the menace of alcohol drinking. Drinking of alcohol by students within the ASU premises is not good for both the students’ future and the university’s image. The proposed solutions will be appreciated by everyone since there is no cost involved. Students have to be persuaded emotionally, and that should not be a big deal.
Moreover, the negative consequences such as students being admitted to hospitals (due to excessive drinking), violence among students, low grades, and being lethargic can be avoided, and as a result, students can perform better. We should try every possible method to persuade students to desist from drinking, especially within the college premises of ASU.
Anderson, D. M., Hansen, B., & Rees, D. I. (2013). Medical marijuana laws, traffic fatalities, and alcohol consumption. The Journal of Law and Economics, 56(2), 333-369.
ASU. (2012). University housing 2011-2012 student handbook. Retrieved from http://www.asu.edu/housing/handbook/housingPolicies.html
ASU. (2014). Alcohol on campus: frequently asked questions. Retrieved from http://www.asu.edu/counsel/brief/alcoholfaq.html
Cataruzulo, A. (2013). Alcohol-related hospital visits increase in Tempe. Retrieved from http://www.statepress.com/2013/12/04/alcohol-related-hospital-visits-increase-in-tempe/
Chassin, L., Curran, P. J., Hussong, A. M., & Colder, C. R. (1996). The relation of parent alcoholism to adolescent substance use: a longitudinal follow-up study. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105(1), 70-80.
Hanson, D. J. (2013). The legal drinking age: science vs. ideology. Retrieved from http://www2.potsdam.edu/alcohol/YouthIssues/1046348726.html#.U0O9bPmSyMI
Holland, C. (2013). 3TV speaks to family of ASU student left at hospital with alcohol poisoning. Retrieved from http://www.azfamily.com/news/ASU-student-with-alcohol-poisoning-abandoned-at-hospital-207360511.html
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Kiebus, M. (2011). Arizona State students get paid to get drunk for research purposes. Retrieved from http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/122087/arizona-state-students-get-paid-to-get-drunk-for-research-purposes/
O’Malley, P. M., & Johnston, L. D. (2005). Epidemiology of alcohol and other drug use among American college students. Retrieved from http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/supportingresearch/Journal/omalley.aspx
Padilla, V. (2013). Arizona worst or close in CDC measures of teen substance abuse. Retrieved from http://cronkitenewsonline.com/2013/05/arizona-at-or-near-bottom-in-cdc-measures-of-teen-substance-abuse/
Rosenquist, J. N., Murabito, J., Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2010). The spread of alcohol consumption behavior in a large social network. Annals of Internal Medicine, 152(1), 416-433.
Soave, R. (2013). ASU police arrest over a thousand students for drinking, ‘loud partiers’ will be next. Retrieved from http://dailycaller.com/2013/09/09/asu-police-arrest-over-a-thousand-students-for-drinking/
University of Arizona. (2007). Alcohol service on a college campus. Retrieved from http://ogc.arizona.edu/files/Alcohol_Service_on_Campus.pdf
Zelman, K. (2005). The alcohol debate: should you or shouldn’t you? Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56016