Too Much Drinking

How does one know if they have an alcohol problem?

Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs and is a gateway to many other problems. Alcohol abuse is when someone drinks too much or too often. This is not the same as alcoholism which is when a person can no longer control their use of alcohol and compulsively abuse alcohol, despite its negative ramifications. Alcohol abuse eventually leads to alcoholism. 

If you have to question whether or not if you have an alcohol problem, then you most likely do.  

Alcohol abuse affects 80% of college students every year.

4 out of every 5 college students have consumed alcohol to some degree. It is also estimated that 50 percent of those students engage in binge drinking according to the alcohol rehab guide. 

A freshman at FAU that prefers to remain anonymous said, “It is very easy to gain access to alcohol. Most liquor stores in the area do not ID”.

The ease of getting alcohol has made this epidemic 10 times worse because the addiction is starting younger and younger. 

Students generally do not believe they have a problem therefore they seldom seek help. 

“Although I know there are resources on campus I never recommend them to my friends because I feel like they would get offended. They don’t see their alcohol consumption as “abuse” they just think they’re having fun and having an “ authentic college experience” 

Drinking in college has become so normalized that it is rare to go to an event where everyone is sober. At this point, the only way things are going to change is if the mentality that people can still have fun without Hennessy, Crown, and Hypnotic.  

The same student said, “I know friends who abuse alcohol. They are constantly drinking before every event and feel as if they just drink to have a good time”.  

Do you have a problem? Take this questionnaire that was developed by the American Psychiatric Association. This four-question test is usually used by healthcare professionals to quickly determine if there is a need for further evaluation.

CAGE questionnaire:

  1. Have you ever felt you needed to Cut down on your drinking?
  2. Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your drinking?
  3. Have you ever felt Guilty about drinking?
  4. Have you ever felt you needed a drink first thing in the morning (Eye-opener) to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?

Scoring: Item responses on the CAGE are scored 0 or 1, with a higher score an indication of alcohol problems. A total score of 2 or greater is considered clinically significant.

 If you think that you have a drinking problem here are some on-campus (FAU) resources:

· University offices providing alcohol-related educational services and programs include Counseling & Psychological Services, Health & Wellness Education, Student Health Services, Department of Housing and Residential Life, Dean of Students Office, University Police and Student Union Administration Office. These services may include: individual assessment, counseling and referrals to community resources, presentations about alcohol and substance abuse to classes, residence halls or student organizations; pamphlets, posters, and films on alcohol and drug abuse, general information on alcohol and drug issues; alcohol education workshops; and supervision of independent study or community service

· The university’s Office of Human Resources provides counseling assistance to faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program (http://www.fau.edu /hr/files/EAP.pdf) and the University Counseling & Psychological Services provides Confidential and Caring Counseling Services for university students (http://www.fau.edu/counseling/).

If you think that you have a drinking problem here are some off-campus resources:

· Join a self-help group like alcoholics anonymous

· 211 http://www.211palmbeach.org 24 Hour Hotline: 211 or (561) 383-1111 211 is a center for crisis and information services offering phone and web support to individuals seeking community resources, referrals, crisis counseling and/or suicide intervention. Support is offered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

 · Alcoholics Anonymous Martin County http://www.martincountyaa.org (772) 283-9337 North Palm Beach County http://www.aa-palmbeachcounty.org (561) 655-5700 South Palm Beach County http://www.aainpalmbeach.org (561) 276-4851 Broward County http://www.aabroward.org (954) 462-0265 or (954) 462-7202 Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women whose primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The website provides a listing of meetings.

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