College is an exciting time for everyone. Each year brings opportunities for educating bright minds. Each year brings the start of the future.
Parents are proud and maybe nervous, hopeful that they have prepared their children for the new path ahead. Despite years of preparation, nothing can fully prepare them for the new experiences they'll go through as a college students. There will be unchartered waters along the way. Parents will be eagerly awaiting their students’ success.
As for students, this is a time for pushing boundaries, challenges, and self-realizations.
It’s also a time when alcohol accessibility and abuse may become much more common among students.
In any given month 24 college students - on average - will die from an alcohol overdose. Of these campus tragedies, college freshmen are particularly at risk, accounting for approximately one-third of college student deaths.
For everyone, the goal remains the same: to keep students from falling into these statistics.
According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), college students are a “unique population with specific health risks and needs.”
Focused research must be done to understand college student behaviors, motivations, brain development, decision processes, and more – all of which helps gain greater understanding and prevents alcohol-related incidents such as injury and death from occuring.
While there are many moving parts that go into campus safety and student health, including hours of research to fight this ongoing trend, one message remains consistent: Prevention saves lives.
The idea behind prevention is not to simply discourage party behavior or condemn all drinking. Instead, prevention is most effective when students, parents and administrators are educated on topics of student safety.
By arming people with facts and knowledge, they are better equipped to avoid dangerous situations and understand what to do in the event something happens.
One in three college students binge drink.
Binge drinking is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after four drinks for women and five drinks for men—in about two hours.
Only time can reverse the effects of alcohol. Forced walking, cold showers, drinking water, and hot coffee do nothing to sober a person up.
97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
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.
Go out in groups and have a plan for getting home - designate a sober driver or call a ride service. Never get in the car with someone who has been drinking or using drugs.
Count the drinks consumed and limit them to one or less per hour. Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Don’t put drinks down or share with others.
Look out for your friends. Look out for strangers.
Be aware of signs of alcohol poisoning or substance misuse.
Be an active bystander. If something seems strange or dangerous, know to interfere personally or call for help.
Utilize your support. Many cities (especially college towns) have Good Samaritan laws. This law offers legal protection to people who provide aid to others who may be encountering an illness, injury, or fatal risk.
Know your access to resources. In case of an emergency such as life-threatening illness or injury, call 9-1-1.
This can happen when everyone – parents, students, professors and more – remain accountable. So do your part and help facilitate healthy students and safe campuses.