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THE TRUTH ABOUT COLLEGE ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

The dangers of college drinking is widely overlooked even in today’s socially aware climate.Many of which are caused by factors that are as obvious as daylight. However, the question remains as to why it continues to steadily be so popular. Is it because it is good for business? Is it due to the sociological desire to connect to people in some form? Is it a psychological need or addiction that leads to mental disorders or underlying health conditions?

Here, we will discuss some of the dangers and the negative effects of binge drinking and the reasons to why it has become such a world wide phenomenon and will be for a long while especially if we are not careful. 

Photography

I took lots of photographs that I thought would best represent my story. Here are the top ten that made the cut. All photos are taken and edited by myself.

I am most proud of the interesting pictures I got to take and the places and locations I got to explore.

The most difficult part was finding relevant pictures to illustrate college alcoholism but I managed to do that by finding creative angles in different areas and adding coherent captions.

The Road to College Abstinence

Over the years, there has been a rising awareness in the ongoing consequences that binge drinking and alcohol consumption causes. The new generation of Texas State Students have been increasingly more informed on the dangers of it and are getting better at recognizing the harmful stigmas of college drinking.

According to Ty Schepis, a Professor of psychology at Texas State University, Gen Z are breaking the stereotypes of alcohol and social drinking has now become less common or normalized among young students.

It has been easier to spread awareness about the social pressures of drinking and by using their social media platforms to promote healthier living styles. Schepis did an analysis that showed evidence that drinking and incidents that occur from it are not as common anymore.

The key points of the assessment taken displays the changes of drug use over time and the co-use and use disorders among young adults from 2002 to 2018. The article written by PHD, Sean Esteban McCabe, questions the rates of alcohol and marijuana abstinence.

Apparently, recent information on trends pertaining to drug usage and related disorders among US young adults is limited however the objective to access reports on the changes over time and the factors associated with abstinence from more recent reports of 2015 to 2018 has been pushed.

The study examined survey data collected in US households annually between 2002 and 2018 as part of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The findings of this study suggest that US colleges and communities should create and maintain supportive resources for young adults as the substance use landscape changes, specifically on alcohol abstinence and measures of past-year abstinence based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition.

Although, the association between college attendance and substance use differs based on the substance used, the college environment can also directly affect substance use behavior, acting as either a influence or a risk factor. Research has shown that binge drinking, and alcohol use disorder are more prevalent among college students than non–college students.

The research conducted found that increases in alcohol abstinence were accompanied by decreases in alcohol use disorder among college and non–college students. These changes may be influenced by increases in the number of US young adults living with their parents.  In hopes that increased alcohol prevention and intervention efforts targeting US college students to substantially decrease drinking-related problems.

Another survey conducted this spring from the Texas State Psychology department found that adults over 30 were drinking alcohol 14% more than college students. Older age groups may be drinking more, but with bars and restaurants closed, 44% of college-age crowds were drinking less.

The findings of this study suggest that more attention is needed to provide a diverse set of social support services and resources to the growing number of US young adults in college and not in college who are abstinent from alcohol, including those in recovery and those abstinent for other reasons. Colleges and communities in the US must find ways to address the changing societal standards of substance use behaviors by providing support in ways such alcohol awareness programs at Texas State.

The numbers of adolescents starting alcohol use has declined, while more college-age adults are first-time alcohol users. Why that shift is occurring is less clear, but one theory is that adolescents have been engaging in more virtual contact than face-to-face contact in recent years and they rarely use substances when they’re alone.

Another key point is that changing regulations likely also play a role. The age of drinking is 21 in Texas yet according to the Hays County Police logs there is still frequent reports and arrests from underage drinking and deliquent driving.

Overall, attitudes toward alcohol have also changed over the years which is a good thing overall however due to the recent pandemic, another rise is feared and predicted to again change the drinking habits of young college students. How the changes will occur is not yet clear but as long as the importance of alcohol safety and responsibility is made aware then there is room for certain progress for students and their future careers and lives.

Data Visualizations

This is based on an interview to Texas State Student, Alicia Delgado using Canva
This is based on an interview to Texas State student and roommate, Jesse Rodriguez using Canva

These two pie charts show the comparison between male and female consumption based on ethnicity.

The link this survey is based on is https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/152-160.htm
The link this survey is based on is https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh40/152-160.htm

These bar charts are based on the types of alcohol related issues and the percentage of the ones that are the most prevalent based on asking 10 friends and students.

The survey conducted is based on is https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/college-drinking

The second focuses on the effects drinking has on academic performance.

This is based on a survey asked to 10 Texas State Students with 50% who consume alcohol

Lastly, I did a Report on the pressures of College Drinking and had a persona witness to the affects and dangers of it.

Reporting by Brandon Fernandez for Multimedia Journalism at Texas State

Thank you for taking the time to go over some of the important information on college binge drinking with me. Take care and remember to always be responsible and safe!

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