How to Avoid Being an Alcoholic in College

Four out of five college students consume alcohol during their time at school, making it over 80 percent of students, and 50 percent engaging in regular binge drinking. This isn’t surprising, given the drinking culture that college provides. Newfound freedom away from home and parents, minimal supervision and a bevy of social activities can create the perfect recipe for alcoholism. While there’s nothing wrong with having fun with your friends in college, it’s important to know how to minimize the risk of being an alcoholic in college.

Understand How Alcoholism Develops

Binge drinking and all the stories that come along with it can seem like a badge of honor or rite of passage for many college students. However, it is also important to understand that frequent binge drinking is also a slippery slope that can risk you being an alcoholic in college.

When you binge drink frequently, tolerance will soon develop in your body to the alcohol. This means that it will take more alcohol in order for you to feel drunk compared to when you first started drinking. This tolerance building will cause the body to become dependent on alcohol, which then causes addiction to form. Addiction can lead to many negative consequences including death, and it all begins with frequent binge drinking due to college drinking culture. So, what are some things you can do to minimize the risk of being an alcoholic in college?

Learn to Say No to Being an Alcoholic in College

It can be tempting to want to attend every single social event on your calendar, especially when you are still trying to make new friends at school. However, it is important to learn how to say no, especially if you have an important test to study for or paper to work on.

You can also still participate in all the social events you want and also learn how to say no. This means learning to say no to drinking at the actual event and leaving early if you feel the need to. Just because you attend a social event doesn’t mean you are required to drink, though it may feel that way. Setting up these healthy boundaries with your friends from the beginning will help you throughout your years in college.

Participate on Campus

Filling up your schedule with healthy activities is the best way to avoid being an alcoholic in college. Chances are, there are a ton of things to do on campus and ways you can get involved. You can start or join a club, find an exercise program or become involved with volunteering. When you are busy with other activities and responsibilities other than schoolwork, you won’t have enough time to be binge drinking.

Find Support

The truth about binge drinking in college is almost everyone is doing it. It can be hard to find a group of friends who aren’t hitting the bottle every chance they get, which is why it is important to find support. Check with your school to see if they offer sober support groups, and if not, find another one near you outside of school. Having sober friends to lean on and do things with can make it a lot easier to avoid being an alcoholic in college.

Consequences of Heavy Drinking in College

Joining a fraternity or sorority, making friends in the freshman dorm and being at a sports game during the school year are all ways to fall into frequent binge drinking. As much as it is important to understand how to avoid being an alcoholic in college, it is important to understand what might happen if you allow frequent binge drinking to continue.

Problems with Grades

The main reason you are at college is to get an education, not to party every single night – and many people get these confused. When grades fall and going to class becomes less and less of a priority, your education will suffer. You may fail, need to retake classes or get expelled from school entirely – all these things will set you back on your life’s path, thanks to binge drinking.

Criminal Activity

Inhibitions become lowered in college, and they become even lower when binge drinking is involved. College students are notorious for making terrible decisions when intoxicated, and some of these might even land you in jail. Getting arrested for vandalism, abuse or driving while drinking are all too common in college.

Risking Injury

Heavy binge drinking puts college students at high risk for injuries. Anything from broken bones, concussions or alcohol poisoning are all very real risks for college students. Not only this, but students who are suffering from anxiety, depression or other mental health disorders can actually worsen their condition and run the risk of committing suicide.

About Pinelands Recovery Center

College is well-known for being the four best years of a person’s life. Having fun, making new friends and socializing are all important parts of college aside from receiving an education. It’s important to know that socializing and having fun doesn’t always have to include alcohol – and it’s okay if you don’t want alcohol to be part of your college experience.

Pinelands Recovery Center of Medford is widely known as one of New Jersey’s finest, most respected addiction treatment facilities. With comfortable 30-bed accommodations and 24-hour professional staff, we can offer clients a serene, relaxing environment amid the lush piney woods. This stress-free setting with its sense of warmth and welcoming enables you to feel comfortable and confident about your clean and sober life ahead.

We will establish clear goals, both general in nature and specific to your needs. We continue to monitor those goals, to make sure that our clients are progressing and buying into their recovery plan. We thrive on assisting clients in feeling connected to the recovery community, share and demonstrate effective coping techniques, help clients to modify attitudes and patterns of behavior and everything else you will need to be happy and productive living a sober, healthy life.

We ensure that clients complete their planned concrete tasks, encourage hope, optimism and healthy living. Our recovery program is not a revolving door treatment program; it is a recovery model designed to help clients go on to lead productive, happy lives. For more information, visit