These days it’s nearly a forgone conclusion that college students are going to start drinking. Alcohol on college campuses seems almost as commonplace as cramming for tests (if not more so), with some degree of alcohol abuse becoming a standard practice as soon as someone reaches college age. Yet alcohol abuse is always a problem, regardless of the control that the student believes they have, which is why alcohol outreach needs to figure out a better way of targeting college drinkers.
Focusing on Different Tools
As usual, it’s important to teach college students to abstain from alcohol. Their studies are far more likely to suffer and they are more likely to find themselves in dangerous situations if they’re out drinking – making it important to generally refrain from alcohol altogether.
But at the same time, programs designed to teach alcohol avoidance seem to be failing. Outreach that tries to convince college students not to drink is generally laughed at, as college students have been drinking for years, and the tradition is likely to continue.
Brainstorming Programs That May Be More Effective
College alcohol outreach programs may need to find some other way to reach these students without depending on alcohol abstinence. Perhaps these programs could focus on moderation instead, encouraging students to have no more than one or two drinks, even if they decide to drink often.
Since the health consequences are lower and the likelihood of addiction decreases, these types of programs may be more beneficial – and at the very least, they will teach young people to moderate in a way that they can take with them when they’re older. But college campuses and city governments may not be as fond of these ideas.
Finding the Right Way to Target Student Drinking
Regardless of what alcohol outreach programs decide to do, it’s clear that changes are necessary. College alcohol abuse is still extremely high, and is being treated like a tradition rather than a behavior that may harm the health and educational development of college students.
Whether it is teaching students to moderate better without discouraging drinking or finding a new way to encourage students to avoid drinking altogether, something needs to change if parents and educators want young college kids to avoid serious alcohol abuse and dependency both during college and afterward.