Alcohol Abuse of Ateneo College Students: An Assessment
One of the ways in which communication functions is in the creation and maintenance of the ways in which using and abusing substances, especially alcohol, are talked about and treated. When, for example, society considered the use of alcohol to be a social sin, its use is banned. "Prohibition" is the name given to the era during which it was illegal in Davao City to buy, sell, and drink alcohol after 2am, especially if you are under 18. After prohibition was repealed, alcohol once again became a legal substance, while other related drugs, such as marijuana, continued to be thought of as harmful. Words for the use of these substances and the meanings that are attributed to their use arise out of communication and are an area of study in health communication. The ways of using and abusing alcohol on the college campus can be called as the "culture of college drinking." In the culture of college drinking, drinking to excess is considered to be an inherent part of the college years. Because of the attention that drinking on the campus receives, it is an important example of a broader subject: communication, health, environmental influence and substance abuse. While dangerous drinking concerns college health educators, administrators, and even some students and parents, most students (and their parents) consider drinking itself to be an integral part of college life. Because their perception is relative to those around them, students who drink dangerously often do not recognize that their drinking is problematic. Many of them think that no matter how much they drink; there are others who drink more. This perception of a cultural norm of excessive drinking during the college years is created and/or reinforced on a daily basis by the media (including magazines, tv ads and newspapers that carry "Drink All You Can" and "Open House" advertisements), major advertising that targets students (e.g., beer companies with Summer Break Drinking Campaigns), and interpersonal experience (e.g., sharing war stories about the "night before"; attending fraternity parties and other social events that encourage alcohol abuse). All of this occurs despite the fact that data consistently indicate that the percentage of students who actually drink excessively is far below the shared misperception that "everybody does."
Concern about dangerous drinking has led to a variety of studies and interventions on college campuses. Using focus group interviews, the researcher will explore the role that alcohol plays in the lives of students. While students articulate negative consequences (e.g., hangovers, vomiting, being taken advantage of physically and/or sexually), they report ignoring these factors because they see drinking as a rite of passage into adulthood or acceptance from/by friends. If simply getting drunk helps students to achieve their social and interpersonal goals, then students can be expected to keep getting drunk. Even if severe intoxication causes illness, the downside of drinking can be endured as long as it is not worse than the rewards that are gained. However, it is somewhat possible that alcohol is no longer abused when students gain the pleasure of social contact and friendship without having to drink. It is therefore in this light that the researcher who happens to be a college student herself has decided to conduct this research study on “Alcohol Abuse of Ateneo College Students: An Assessment”.
II. Theoretical/Conceptual Framework
Alcoholism is a term with multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions. In common and historic usage, alcoholism refers to any condition that results in the continued consumption of alcoholic beverages despite the health problems and negative social consequences it causes. Medical definitions describe alcoholism as a disease which results in a persistent use of alcohol despite negative consequences....
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