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College Alcohol Treatment

April, 2009 marks the 22nd year of Alcohol Awareness Month.  

Tarzana Treatment Centers is participating with a series of articles meant to inform and educate the general public about alcohol abuse, dependence and treatment.  Considering that over 21 million Americans meet the criteria for alcohol abuse and over 53 million admit to past-month binge drinking, not to mention the many loved ones affected by each, our efforts are worthwhile.

Alcohol detox and treatment for college students could solve many of the crime and low performance problems at post-secondary institutions, but only if the needed treatment is sought.  There are several reasons that college students do not seek help when alcohol becomes a problem.  With 1 in 5 students meeting the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence, anyone with a family member in college should make themselves aware of the facts.

This is not to suggest that every student who gets drunk at a party should go straight to the nearest alcohol rehab and check in.  Alcohol poisoning should, of course, be guarded against.  Occasional heavy drinking is not, by itself, alcohol abuse, though it could be an indication of a problem when coupled with other factors like cravings.

Problems generally develop when a college student engages in “heavy and frequent” drinking, which falls into the category of alcohol abuse.  They are more likely to commit crimes, engage in unsafe sex, and miss classes than even those who are alcohol dependent, and they are less likely to seek treatment.  Since these students will not seek alcohol treatment on their own, it is especially important that friends and family members encourage them to do so.

The statistics below are from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  The numbers suggest that 95% of the student alcohol abusers and dependents surveyed had not pursued alcohol treatment in the past year.

-- Begin external content –

Treatment for Alcohol Problems: An Unmet Need


In a recent survey:*

  •   9 percent of college students ages 18–24 met the criteria** for alcohol abuse or dependence.
  •   5 percent of these students sought treatment for alcohol problems in the year preceding the survey.
  •   3 percent of these students thought they should seek help but did not.

These data underscore an important fact—that while good individual treatment is available for alcoholism, these programs often are not accessible to a broad audience.

Moreover, the students who drink most heavily are the least likely to seek treatment; yet they experience or are responsible for the greatest number of alcohol-related problems on campus***.

* National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions
** From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM–IV), American Psychiatric Association.
*** Presley, C.A., and Pimentel, E.R. The introduction of the heavy and frequent drinker: A proposed classification to increase accuracy of alcohol assessments in postsecondary educational settings. Journal of Studies on Alcohol 67:324–331, 2006. PMID: 16562416
-- Source: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/1College_Bulletin-508_361C4E.pdf --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.



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