The Problem with Alcohol Use and Abuse:.
Although alcohol use by adolescents is frequent, alcoholism is very rare. Still, alcohol consumption by adolescents hinders normal development. Alcohol intake by children can result in learning impairment, hyperactivity, and personality and behavior problems, because today's society has accepted the casual use of alcohol (Effects, 1996, 1). Among men, research suggests that greater alcohol use is related to greater sexual aggression (Shalala, 1995, 2). Students living on campuses with higher proportions of binge drinkers experience more incidents of assault and unwanted sexual advances because of their peers drinking than do students residing on campuses with lower proportions of binge drinkers (Shalala, 1995, 2). Some campuses sponsor alcohol awareness events and classroom lectures and distribute information about alcohol use. Although such education programs raise students' awareness of issues surrounding alcohol use, these programs appear to have minimal effect on drinking and on the rates of alcohol problems. This problem has been seen on probably all college campuses and the University of Maine at Machias is no different. Programs are offered to all students but one instance this semester really got me thinking. As an athlete on the UMM campus you are required to attend certain meetings. As all of the athletes were in alcohol 101, where we learned the affects of alcohol and so on, one of our fellow students was back in the dorms "drinking it up." As we walked back to our rooms we all saw the ambulance screaming off campus. A young man had gotten alcohol poisoning while we were in our alcohol awareness meeting, we all felt horrible and I guess this experience really made what we had just heard sink in a little bit more.
According to Donna E. Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services at The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, it seems that binge drinkers appear to engage in more unplanned sexual activity and to abandon safe sex techniques more often than students who do not binge drink (Shalala, 1995,2).