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Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Denny Soinski

The Article entitled “No One Is Keeping Track of Alcohol Deaths” triggered some of my thoughts on "What Causes College Students to Abuse Alcohol"? Although the answers are probably many, the simplest answer, however, is this: “Because they can.”

When there are so few immediate consequences for excessive drinking, when repeat offenders are not disciplined, when parents are not notified about their children's drinking activities, when students get mixed messages from the college administration about alcohol, when students have seen their parents drinking alcohol in an irresponsible manner, when students are not informed about the long-tern negative consequences of alcohol abuse, when there are few alcohol-free social and recreational activities that are attractive to students, when minors or intoxicated students are served alcoholic beverages by the local drinking establishments, and when the drinking activities in the sororities and fraternities are not monitored---drinking and excessive drinking become so very easy.

When peer pressure or influence is added to the equation, when it is disregarded that drinking alcohol temporarily removes a person from his or her problems, when ignoring the belief or perception that drinking alcohol makes it easier to socialize with potential dating or sexual partners, when it is so acceptable to engage in activities that emphasize the drinking of alcohol, when the "good feelings" or the "fun" of getting an alcohol high or buzz are not considered, and when the party atmosphere at college is expected by students----it become more clear regarding what causes college students to abuse alcohol.

In a word, college students abuse alcohol because they can, because drinking makes them feel good, because drinking helps them relax and open up more in social situations, because drinking can be fun, because their friends and other students are doing it, because of peer pressure and peer influence, because alcohol is so accessible, because excessive drinking is accepted, and because many of them when they were in high school were told by their parents and other influential people that it is okay to get drunk “once in a while.”

Andrew Prinsep

People dont drink because thier parents tell them its ok to. As a college student I can tell you first hand that the biggest drinkers are the kids who never had a drop prior to college and tier parents would cringe at the thought of them doing so.

Yes college students abuse alcohol because they can but why not all the other things that are gratifying in the short run like chocolate. By the way there is a short term side-effect of drinking its called a hang-over.

The simple answer is that many college students have never had the freedom or exposure to alcohol and dont fully understand it. Chocolate makes you fat students know this but they dont understand alcohol because thier parents never taught them. This is due in large part in my opinion to the 21 drinking age. Parents are required to expose thier kids to drinking the general attitude is that they will figure it out for themselves is college. Which is like giving a 5 year endless accesability to chocolate and say he will figure it out for himself.

My father is English andi grew up in an atmosphere in which drinking in moderation was acceptable and yes where i could drink but even then not to the extent they should of let me.

Its simple tell your kids its ok to drink just in moderation and expose them to it. But teach them the basics of drinking-- cut them off not too soon -- let them get drunk not hammered but let them learn thier limits and please do not be the parent that throws parties for thier kid.

This way they dont go and drink a bottle of everclear at thier first party and go do something stupid. Also Alcohol poisoning death's of people under the age of 21 are fairly rare a study conducted from 96-98 reported only them to acount for 2% of total AP deaths. The thing to be worried about is what you do when your drunk. Like drive teach them that its not hard. Just wait untill your kid is 16 and let him start figuring things out because this is the age in which they can drive.

Denise King

What more to make something even more enticing to a young person, in college or otherwise, than to make it "forbidden fruit"? The drinking laws in this country are absurd and ridiculous. 18 year olds are "legal adults" , are held accountable as an adult for crimes they might commit and 18 year olds are going to Iraq to die for their country. They are not, and I repeat, they are not, considered minors by any stretch of the imagination; except, that is, when it comes to the legal consumption of alcoholic beveverages. Instead, in this case, we are faced with an illogical contradiction, a true double standard to the extreme: herein is the one exception to the rule. In this case, and in this case alone, one must be 21 years of age in order to legally drink alcohol. The question is, is an 18 year old an adult, or are they a minor child? If an 18 year old is considered a legal adult, they must also be allowed to legally consume alcoholic beverages. It cannot be both ways. It's just not right. Making alcohol consumption "forbidden fruit" only makes it more desirable, and with no control over the situation. It simply makes the situation worse.
Get Real, America

lynn birchum/jana spinks

is there anything there about drinking and driving related deaths in children/teens?

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