Alcohol Abuse in Party Schools – Going to College Can Be Dangerous
Parents are excited when their kids go off to college, but they are also a little worried. How will their young man or woman cope with being away from home? Will they do well? Will they behave themselves? Will they get involved in things that might cause them trouble? Now, more than ever, that is a very real concern – especially when they go to a ‘party school,’ so named for the alcohol abuse. Drugs are a factor, too, but alcohol is the big one.
Party schools are defined in Wikipedia as “a college or university that has a reputation for heavy alcohol and drug use or a general culture of licentiousness.”
Not exactly what you had in mind when you put that ‘college fund’ aside, right?
Every year, several publications publish their research on party schools and come up with rankings. You, or your kid, can look up the rankings on line – just search top party schools.
The most well-known list is published by Princeton Review. Here’s their top ten for 2011.
University of Georgia
University of Mississippi
University of Iowa
University of California, Santa Barbara
West Virginia University
Pennsylvania State University
Florida State University
University of Florida
University of Texas at Austin
The statistics for young people who drink at college are pretty gruesome – more girls get raped, more students (male and female) have sexual encounters they would not have had were they sober, more injuries all around, more DUI’s, skipping classes because of being hung over, not doing well in exams, turning to ‘study drugs’ like Adderall and Ritalin (very similar to methamphetamine or cocaine) to be able to stay awake and cram for the last few days before exams because they were too busy partying to keep up with their studies properly during the semester, or the entire year.
It’s not pretty.
So, as parents, what do you do with this information? Here are a few suggestions:
Don’t ignore the problem and just hope or trust things will be okay. Not only are your kids likely to have some nasty things happen to them, and definitely not get the most out of their education, it also sets them up to be alcoholics as adults.
Educate your kids on the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Make sure they understand they are poisoning their bodies, and know the statistics and the consequences.
If your kids are already drinking, get control of it before they go to school. If they won’t stop, get them through an addiction help program before they go to college. Same goes with drugs.
And keep a very, very close eye on things. Be very direct about it, and don’t just give up thinking ‘kids will be kids’ and so on. Statistics show that kids are drinking or taking drugs for an average of two years before their parents even find out about it.
Peer pressure in college is at its peak. And it’s hard to resist. It is expected and, if a student doesn’t live up to those expectations, they can be socially ostracized.
Those with a really sense of self and purpose have less chance of being intimidated in these surroundings, although even they can get trapped in the drug and alcohol scene.
But someone who is already drinking or taking drugs already will almost certainly get even worse. It’s like throwing them into the lion’s den.
Getting into a good addiction help program now will not only get them off drugs, it will help with the issues they have that are driving them to alcohol or drugs. With these issues successfully resolved, they should be able to get the education they’re attending college for, and have a lot of sober fun doing it.