The Effects of Alcohol in College Students

Topics: Long-term effects of alcohol, Drinking culture, Alcoholism Pages: 5 (1459 words) Published: March 24, 2005
On college campuses across America, the use of alcohol has been an topic in need of explanation for many years. The concept will be explaned with emphise on the negative effects of hooch. Alcohol in cardio-sport athletes is especially harmful. But at any rate the negative concepts apply to all student. Besides the fact that a large number of students are underage when they drink, alcohol can put students in dangerous situations and give them a headache long after the hangover is gone. The short and long term effects alcohol has can impair students physically and mentally, impacting their education and health.

In order to explain how alcohol can fully affect university students, the source of the issue must first be considered. Intoxication is, "…when the quantity of alcohol the person consumes exceeds the individual's tolerance for alcohol and produces behavioral or physical abnormalities. In other words, the person's mental and physical abilities are impaired" ("Alcohol"). Ethanol is a certain type of depressant alcohol that is responsible for these abnormalities. Depressants give the feeling of intoxication because they restrain the brain's ability to communicate with the rest of the body. The intensity of the effects varies from person to person and depends on the amount of alcohol that is absorbed into the bloodstream. For example, if a person has a few drinks, ethanol can make him or her more sociable, increase confidence, or slightly decrease concentration and coordination. While drinking, the logical thought process can become disrupted without much notice, leading to unintended situations.

At parties on university campuses, drinking games are a way for students to leisurely interact while usually drinking more than they normally would. Although the objective of most students during these games may be harmless, there some students that have a hidden agenda. Thomas J. Johnson reports in a current article that "Drinking games are a popular context for college student drinking and appear to be strongly associated with incidents of sexual victimization" (304). He goes on to note, "As many as 80% of students may participate in a drinking game at some point during their college career" (304). It is clear that sexual aggression is an issue that affects every college student, whether he or she is drinking or not. Due to the heightened sexual aggression associated with intoxication, certain levels of alcohol in the body can increase the possibility of an unwanted encounter. Most students see drinking games as a social situation to relax and possibly meet some people, so most people do not expect to be a sexual victim:

…some men and women use drinking games as a format for demonstrating interest in a potential romantic partner. Both men and women reported relatively high frequencies of having been told that someone else was trying to get them drunk during a game in order to have sex. In many drinking games, players can identify another player and make that player drink. That targeting of another person by making them drink may sometimes not be intended to incapacitate that person, but merely be a (perhaps dangerous) way of getting someone's attention. (304) As with most acts of physical hostility, men tend to be the ones who target women as partners. Johnson further states that "In women, the drinking-game-related incidents accounted for 90% of the variance in overall incidents of being taken advantage of sexually that were associated with alcohol use" (304). Drinking games do not always have to have a sexual price though. Johnson reports that "Students, especially women, appear to drink more when playing drinking games than they would in other typical drinking contexts" (304). With or without games, drinking can get out of hand. When intoxication levels eventually reach beyond what the body can tolerate, serious injury or death can occur.

Most students have not drunk before coming to college, so they have a...

Cited: "Alcohol Intoxication Definition and Causes." eMedicine. 3 Jan. 2005. 23 Feb. 2005 .
Bichler, Gisela and Stephen G. Tibbetts. "Conditional covariation of binge drinking with predictors of college students ' cheating." Psychological Reports Dec 2003: 93. : 735. Expanded Academic ASAP. Cullom-Davis Library. 18 Feb 2005 .
Johnson, Thomas J. and Courtney Stahl. "Sexual experiences associated with participation in drinking games." The Journal of General Psychology July 2004: 131. : 304. Expanded Academic ASAP. Cullom-Davis Library. 18 Feb 2005 .
Langley, John D., Kypros Kypri, and Shaun C.R. Stephenson. "Secondhand effects of alcohol use among university students: computerised survey." British Medical Journal 1 Nov 2003: 327. :1023. Expanded Academic ASAP. Cullom-Davis Library. 18 Feb 2005 .
Turner; James C. and Jianfen Shu. "Serious health consequences associated with alcohol use among college students: demographic and clinical characteristics of patients seen in an emergency department." Journal of Studies on Alcohol March 2004: 65. : 179. Expanded Academic ASAP. Cullom-Davis Library. 18 Feb 2005 .
Wolaver, Amy M. "Effects of heavy drinking in college on study effort, grade point average, and major choice." Contemporary Economic Policy Oct 2002: 20. : 415. Expanded Academic ASAP. Cullom-Davis Library. 18 Feb 2005 .
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