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It appears that Georgia is not alone regarding student alcohol problems. Here’s some other thoughts on college alcohol abuse that may help Richt come up with even more proactive ideas regarding student alcohol problems at Georgia’s college campuses.

What causes college students to abuse alcohol? The answers are probably many, but the simplest answer is this: Because they can.

When there are so few immediate consequences for excessive drinking, when repeat offenders are not disciplined, when parents are not notified about their children's drinking activities, when students get mixed messages from the college administration about alcohol, when students have seen their parents drinking alcohol in an irresponsible manner, when students are not informed about the long-tern negative consequences of alcohol abuse, when there are few alcohol-free social and recreational activities that are attractive to students, when minors or intoxicated students are served alcoholic beverages by the local drinking establishments, and when the drinking activities in the sororities and fraternities are not monitored---drinking and excessive drinking become so very easy.

When peer pressure or influence is added to the equation, when it is disregarded that drinking alcohol temporarily removes a person from his or her problems, when ignoring the belief or perception that drinking alcohol makes it easier to socialize with potential dating or sexual partners, when it is so acceptable to engage in activities that emphasize the drinking of alcohol, when the "good feelings" or the "fun" of getting an alcohol high or buzz are not considered, and when the party atmosphere at college is expected by students--it becomes more clear regarding what causes college students to abuse alcohol.

In a word, college students abuse alcohol because they can, because drinking makes them feel good, because drinking helps them relax and open up more in social situations, because drinking can be fun, because their friends and other students are doing it, because of peer pressure and peer influence, because alcohol is so accessible, because excessive drinking is accepted, and because many of them when they were in high school were told by their parents and other influential people that it is okay to get drunk “once in a while.”


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