Editorial: Alcoholism and college

Alcoholism is a big problem that is never addressed. Just because we are in college that does not mean we need to fit into the “drinking until you pass out” criteria. There are several ways to go out and have a good time without getting absolutely shit-faced.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are approximately 88,000 people (approximately 62,000 men and 26,000 women) who die from alcohol related causes annually, making it the third leading preventable cause of death in the United States.

Just think of all the innocent lives we could avoid if everyone started drinking responsibly. If you know you want to drink until your insides are on the outside then plan accordingly. Have a designated driver to make sure you don’t drive afterward.

By doing this, we all could prevent crashing our car, killing a passenger in our vehicle or better yet an innocent bystander who had nothing to do with you or your friends’ immature decisions.

We are in college. I know it may be hard for some people to realize but this isn’t high school anymore. The way we shape our future now sets us up for how we will be when we leave college.

Some of you might not even realize you have a drinking problem and go off and have kids later on. More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study. Do you really want to set that as an example for your children? In America, an estimated 855,000 adolescents between the ages of 12–17 have an Alcohol Use Disorder a year.

Here are some facts to think about the next time you want to not drink responsibly, provided by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

–>1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.

–>696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

–>97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

–>Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for an AUD.

–>About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

Washburn is a dry campus. It’s time to start acting like college adults and realize that it’s not just your life you affect when you drink irresponsibly. You affect the university, your friends, family, future and most importantly life itself. A life is a horrible thing to waste. What you do you may never be able to get back. There are many organizations you can reach out to to get help. Find new friends that don’t make you feel like you have to be an alcoholic to hang out with them.