Do you drink because you want to, or because you need to?

Do you drink because you want to, or because you need to?

Be honest, when was the last time you drank too much? If you are like 53% of American college students, it was sometime in the past week. But how do you know if you’re just a college student having fun or if you have a legitimate alcohol problem? According to USA today, 1,400 students die each year from an alcohol-related incident.

“Ya, I probably drink a little too much,” said a Chaminade student who would like to remain anonymous. “To be honest, I don’t even remember my senior prom, because I pregamed too hard and passed out in the bathroom. And I’m pretty sure I never learned my limit, because I passed out in a bathroom at a party last week too.”

This student’s story isn’t too different from a lot students’. We don’t drink to enjoy that glass or two of wine or that beer with dinner, we drink until we’re incoherent and slurring our speech. But it’s ok, drinking in college is just a rite of passage, right? Sorry to burst your bubble, but you are causing serious damage to not only your liver but your brain too.

According to WebMD, 35% of college students have a “seriously damaging alcohol problem”. But how do you know if you are one of them? Here are a few symptoms of alcohol addiction:

-Do you ever feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking?

-Have you lied to others about your drinking?

-Have friends or family ever mentioned being worried about your drinking?

-Do you feel the need to have a drink, so that you can relax, or feel better?

-How often do you black out and not remember the night before?

-Do you regularly drink more than you intended to?

-Are you falling behind in school, because of your drinking?

Chances are that if you are even asking if you have a problem, you probably do. So maybe instead of getting hammered tonight you should stay in and read The Silversword. Just kidding. But do it and if it seems harder than it really should be, you need to contact someone and get help, because it is only going to get harder the more you drink.

Chaminade offers free counseling to students, and if you think you might want to talk to someone, you can contact Dr. June Yasuhara at 808-735-4845. There’s also one other way to keep tabs on your control over alcohol. If you want a drink with some friends, go for it, but the moment you are drinking because you think you need it, is the moment you are developing a problem that is just going to lead you down a long, sad road.