Alcohol Abuse

Overview of Alcohol Abuse

Students give many different reasons why they may drink alcohol, including liking the sensations obtained, peer pressure and to be apart of a group. Sometimes alcohol is used to avoid difficult situations that may arise at school, work, family and friends. Others use alcohol to avoid uncomfortable feelings, like anxiety or sadness. A serious problem can develop quickly, especially among college students.

Below is a set of questions designed to help you find out if alcohol use may be a problem:

  • Do you prefer to drink alone rather than with others?
  • Does your drinking cause problems with school (e.g., falling grades) or at work (e.g. being late)?
  • Do you drink to escape your problems?
  • When you drink, do you get very emotional?
  • Do you ever have memory loss or blackouts due to drinking?
  • When you drink, do you often get drunk even when you did not mean to drink to excess?
  • Do you find that you have to drink more and more to get the same effect?
  • Do you get into trouble with the law or injure yourself when you drink?

If you answered, "yes" to one or more of these questions, you may have a drinking problem. Here are some common alcohol and drug-related problems that students may experience:

  • Diminished academic performance
  • Conflict in intimate relationships
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Unwanted sex, sexual coercion, or sexual difficulties
  • Indifference to appearance and behavior
  • Legal or judicial entanglements
  • Health issues, such as chronic colds or infections
  • Alienation of friends or family members
  • Financial concerns
  • Loss of interest in former hobbies or pastimes
  • Lack of pleasure from normal, positive things in life

What Can Be Done

Be Educated About the Effects of Alcohol

Immediate physical effects from alcohol may include: loss of muscle control, impaired reflexes, vomiting, and unconsciousness. Long-term use can cause cancer, brain damage, cirrhosis of the liver, weight gain, and birth defects if drinking while pregnant. Excessive drinking can also cause serious accidents, injuries, and death.

If You Do Drink, Reduce Your Risk

Be aware that drinking under the age of 21 is always risky drinking. Being arrested for an alcohol-related offense can have long-term legal, financial, and professional repercussions. If you choose to drink, some ways to stay safer while drinking include:

  • Be involved in activities where alcohol is not the main focus
  • Eat a full meal with protein before drinking
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water
  • Consume no more than one alcoholic drink per hour
  • Make sure that there is someone with you
  • Never leave a drink unattended
  • Never drive a car after drinking or get in a car with a driver who has been drinking

How We Can Help

SHCS provides acute care, drop-in services, brief individual therapy, group therapy, and referrals for on-going therapy

You can schedule an intake with a counselor at North Hall by calling (530) 752-2349Acute Care drop-in services are available on the first floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center.