College drinking is a problem that impacts the lives of students of various ages across the country. Drinking and binge drinking are problems that specifically impact college students for a number of reasons.
Many students report that there is a tremendous amount of social pressure to drink, and instances of binge drinking among college students are higher than in almost any other population. In fact, as many as 1,800 college students die each year as a result of alcohol-related incidents.
But what effect does college drinking really have on your psyche? Are the costs of drinking really worth succumbing to social pressure?
Heavy alcohol use may play a major role in diminishing the effectiveness of attending classes and studying. If you binge drink, you may be causing serious and even permanent damage to the areas of your brain that are responsible for processing information and engaging in critical thought.
These same areas of the brain are also tied to long and short term memory problems, and may greatly decrease the mind's ability to take in any of the important academic information that most students expect to gain by attending classes.
Heavy alcohol use has been closely linked with emotional instability. One reason for this is that alcohol use takes a major toll on the brain's ability to process emotions and heavy drinking often leads to problems with emotional instability.
This can be particularly true for young, college aged kids whose brains are still developing and whose hormones may still be in flux. Engaging in frequent binge drinking greatly increases your odds for suffering from problems like depression and anxiety and may lead to unexplained mood swings and uncontrollable sadness or anger.
Drinking can lead to major problems with socializing for a number of reasons. The emotional problems that are linked to heavy drinking often cause behavioral issues that can make it difficult for a person to socialize in a normal fashion.
This frequently leads to problems with dating and romantic prospects, and can often make a heavy drinker feel alienated and isolated. Many people who suffer from alcoholism in college experience social anxiety, and this problem often compounds on itself when social anxiety drives a person to drink heavily, which in turn increases social anxiety.
The impact that diminished social skills caused by drinking can have on a person may extend well past college and into the way that a person relates to the world around them for life, unless serious adjustments are made.
Other Issues Can Become Compounded
It is normal for college students to suffer from a number of psychological issues, which may range from sadness surrounding homesickness to clinical depression to other psychological problems like eating disorders. When a person who suffers from an issue like this begins to drink heavily, they may greatly increase the odds that their other issues will become more severe.
When this happens, it becomes very unlikely that gains will be made in the fight against the initial problem because little to no real psychological progress can be made while a person is actively engaging in frequent binge drinking.
Drinking in college may be a common occurrence, but the risks that it poses to short and long term health and well-being are real. It is a very bad idea for a college student, or for any person to engage in drinking that exceeds moderate use, which is defined as two drinks per night for men and one drink per night for women.