Substance Use Risk Reduction in College Students
Virtually all college students experience the effects of college drinking – whether they drink or not. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol more than twice per week. The problem with college drinking is not necessarily the drinking itself, but the negative consequences that result from patterns of drinking, particularly binge drinking. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), binge drinking is considered consuming 5 or more drinks within two hours for men and 4 or more for women. Low-risk drinking for women is no more than 3 drinks on any single day and no more than 7 drinks per week. Low-risk drinking for men is no more than 4 drinks on any single day and no more than 14 drinks per week.
Did you know that there is a direct correlation between substance use and poor academic performance? Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that students who reported binge drinking were three times more likely to receive D’s and F’s in school, while students who resisted from binge drinking received more A’s and B’s. Similar results were found in the case of marijuana usage. Students who reported using marijuana reported receiving a D or an F four times more often than A’s and B’s.
Poor academic performance isn’t the only negative result of binge drinking and other substance use. These negative behaviors can also lead to higher stress levels, problems in personal relationships and financial hardship.
Georgia State University’s Counseling and Testing Center (CTC) offers a Substance Abuse Risk Reduction Program (SURRP) which provides services designed to empower students to make healthy, informed and intentional choices about their use of alcohol and other drugs. Their staff works with students to support no-use and low-risk behaviors while addressing the signs and consequences of high-risk use by discussing strategies to reduce substance-related barriers to academic and social success.
In addition to using consultation services at the Counseling and Testing Center, Georgia State University students have the opportunity to complete a free online assessment for both alcohol and marijuana which provides personalized feedback regarding one’s individual risk level. The assessment helps students understand their personal level of risk related to their particular pattern of use. If you are curious about your level of risk for experiencing substance abuse related problems, you can find out for free. Just fill out a confidential online questionnaire here and receive an individualized feedback report about your use and how it compares to others.
For more information, visit the SURRP page.