The Effects of Alcohol on College Students

Essay by jlocoUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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"It has been estimated that the average American college student drinks more than 34 gallons of alcohol every year (Oviatt)." Alcohol consumption seems harmless and a normal part of the college experience. It is still used and abused among a number of students. We must recognize the effects alcohol has on a college student.

"Adolescence is also a time of trying new experiences and activities that emphasize socializing with peers, and conforming to peer-group standards (NIAAA)." Socially, drinking is the norm and is widely accepted among college students. Drinking is a social event students like to do with each other. Students tend to drink when he or she gets bored, stressed out, or when he or she just wants to have a good time. If a student chooses not to drink, he or she might feel like an outcast. There can be very strong peer pressure which may trigger a student to try drinking.

Physically, alcohol has a number of negative effects. First off, alcohol is a poison to the body. After consumption, the body must work harder to get rid of the poison. It can cause dehydration, loss of appetite, and poor nutrition. Too much intake of alcohol can easily cause nausea. Alcohol also slows the heart and respiratory rates. Alcohol goes to brain and effects simple motor skills such as one's reaction. It causes blurred vision, slurred speech, impaired hearing, balance problems when walking, and poor coordination.

Most students think alcohol is a stimulant, but in actuality, alcohol acts as a central nervous system depressant (Oviatt). Although at first it may cause one to be energetic, alcohol can make a student unhappy. Coping with stress at school, work, home, or within the family may cause a student to want to drink. A lot of...