Having four drinks in two hours for the average woman, or five drinks for the average man is defined as binge drinking. This phenomenon is most common in colleges where young people don’t know how to properly control their alcohol intake, and are not aware of the consequences.
Alcohol abuse in college can lead to missing many of the classes, falling behind schedule, getting low grades on exams or performing poorly in general when it comes to academics. Those who binge drink three or more times per week perform six times worse on exams compared to those who drink, but don’t binge. The same applies for missing classes, all as a result of alcohol abuse in college.
Binge drinkers may experience Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) over time.
The symptoms include:
- Increased alcohol intake
- Desire to stop drinking but not being able to
- Problems with daily functioning
- Ignoring all negative consequences
- Risky behaviors
- Increased alcohol tolerance of the body
- Withdrawal symptoms (restlessness, sweating or nausea) once the alcohol is out of the system
However, binge drinking has some long-lasting effects on the young adult brain. Since the brain’s development continues until 24 years of age, alcohol abuse in college can cause brain shrinkage, impaired memory function and visual learning, and can sometimes cause type 2 diabetes.
Since not all students can handle the peer pressure, today there are many treatments for alcohol abuse offered in the alcohol abuse treatment centers. Only a small portion of students abuse alcohol in college receive treatment. Many are in denial that they have a problem and others are too scared to admit and accept help. Many are unsure of what alcohol treatment entails.
Here’s what to expect from alcoholism treatment:
- Start with detox. In this phase, the body is cleansed of all addictive substances. Alcohol detox, in particular, can be very difficult as it can cause severe and painful withdrawal symptoms. It is very important to undergo medical detox in an alcohol abuse treatment center where you will have the help and supervision of medical professionals to keep you stable and healthy.
- Therapy programs. There are many types of therapies you can receive as part of your alcohol abuse treatment plan. These plans should be tailored to meet your specific needs for recovery. During these therapy sessions, you will be taught to recognize your triggers and address the root cause of your addiction. This part of the alcohol abuse treatment includes work with professionals who will help you create strategies to avoid alcohol abuse and progress your healing process.
- Group engagement. Being social is a very important part of the treatment for alcohol abuse, so often, treatment centers offer participation in group therapy with fellow patients. Sharing the strategies and participate therapy helps you establish bonds and stay accountable for your behaviors.
- Change of habits. During treatment, one of the goals for recovery is the change of old habits to develop new and healthier ones. Complimentary therapies such as yoga, meditation and exercise can help you to develop new, healthier habits. Music therapy and art therapy have also proven themselves as effective tools in the treatment of alcoholism. These therapies help individuals to develop a new set of creative skills and form of expression to facilitate their recovery process.