It is Alcohol Awareness Month and so we take this time to educate and be educated on having a healthy relationship with alcohol.
One of the main purposes of Alcohol Awareness Month is to inform people of the stigma surrounding alcohol abuse. Friend and family intervention is often needed for some individuals to get the help they need, which is why it is vital that we all know about alcoholism and how to talk to someone who may have a drinking problem.
According to the World Health Organization, three million deaths occur every year due to the misuse or overuse of alcohol. In adults who are 20-39 years old, 13.5 percent of deaths occur due to some type of alcohol misuse. Also, the harmful use of alcohol has been linked to 200 disease and injury conditions.
In college, the risk of having an alcohol use disorder becomes extremely high. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the first six weeks of freshman year are when a student should be the most careful. The beginning of the semester is when students are first beginning to adapt to both the freedom and stress of college, which may lead them to drinking.
The current statistics are that 53 percent of college students (regardless of age) admitted to drinking alcohol in the past month, with 33 percent of those students admitting to binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks within two hours for males, and four or more drinks within two hours for females.
About 1,519 students have died from alcohol-related injuries, and 97,000 students reported experiencing sexual assault or rape related to alcohol.
Of course, statistics do not truly show the harmful effects of alcohol on real people who we see everyday. The statistics are not mere numbers, they are people.
These facts all leave us with the question: what can we do about this?
The World Health Organization suggests the regulation of the marketing of alcoholic beverages, appropriate drinking and driving policies, raising awareness of the health problems which can be caused by alcohol abuse, support for effective alcohol policies and accessible treatment for those suffering from alcoholism and other substance abuse disorders.
They also suggest the implementation of interventions for drinking and the regulation of availability of alcohol, which can definitely help to lower alcoholism and alcohol abuse in adults.
The Roost is highlighting its mocktails, which are available all the time, not just this month, as a way of promoting a relaxed and safe environment for students here at Mercyhurst.
“There’s no need or pressure to have a cocktail. We encourage everyone to come and enjoy the delicious food and beverages,” director of Retail Services, Lori Blakeslee, said.
Residence Life will also host its own events, and information can be found on the HUB this month. There is no shortage of resources online, so make sure to get educated, not just for yourself, but also for the wellbeing of those you care about.