Women go to college to receive a higher education and make a better future for themselves, but the campus drinking culture in America can sometimes turn their dreams into tragedy. There is currently an epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses that has its roots in excessive alcohol consumption. According to the Massachusetts Bar Association’s article “Underage drinking and sexual assaults,” between 20 and 25 percent of college women will experience an attempted or completed rape. Alcohol abuse leads to more than 100,000 sexual assaults on college women each year.
College is the first opportunity for many students to indulge themselves while being away from parental supervision, but the choices that many adolescents make with this freedom can have serious consequences. A report by the The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University entitled “Wasting the best and the brightest: Substance abuse at America’s colleges and universities” reveals a shocking amount of alcohol and substance abuse taking place on college campuses. This culture of excess has created a public health crisis at our nation’s highest academic institutions.
A college student’s 21st birthday is a major milestone representing a step further into adulthood, but for many students this day can turn into a disaster. When people turn 21, they gain the legal right to purchase alcohol in the United States and many students take advantage of this right by going on an alcohol binge. A growing trend on campus life is the drinking game “21 for 21,” in which the birthday celebrant attempts to drink 21 alcoholic beverages in one sitting. Binge drinking on this scale can be extremely hazardous for a person’s health, especially those with little to no experience drinking alcohol. Before young people go out drinking on their 21st birthday, they should be aware of the risks. Read more
Underage drinking may be a passing phase for some, but for others it can turn into a lifelong problem. People who start drinking before the age of 15 are seven times more likely to develop a drinking problem than those who wait until they are 21. A lifetime of hard drinking can do serious damage to a person’s life and well-being. Adolescents should be aware that picking up a drink may set them up for a lifetime of difficulties.
Chronic drinking can have terrible effects on a person’s health. Many consequences of alcoholism are well known, such as liver and cardiovascular damage. However, one recent study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) has discovered that excessive alcohol consumption can reduce the body’s ability to repair its own muscles, causing muscle weakness and degeneration over time. These findings shed new light on the harm that alcoholism can inflict as well as provide information for the development of new treatments.
Teens who drink are more likely to engage in potentially dangerous sexual practices than those who do not drink. When teens open themselves up to sexual interaction without taking responsible steps to ensure their physical safety and health, it could have tragic consequences. Before teens begin drinking, they should understand the potentially hazardous consequences that may result from unsafe sex.
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