Alcohol Issues Forum

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Counseling Center Tackles College-Aged Alcohol Issues with April 13 Program

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU

April is "Alcohol Awareness Month" and the University's Counseling Center (UCC) is recognizing that designation by sponsoring a program titled Rethink Your Drink Workshop. The event’s goal is to encourage Alabama State University students to consider the alarming negative impact that underage drinking and binge drinking could have on their health and the wellbeing of others.

The event takes place on April 13, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., in the amphitheater of the John Garrick Hardy Student Center.

"College aged drinking in many instances is harmful to students and poses significant public health problems, which exacts a tremendous negative and life-changing toll on the health and lives of students, and those that their negative behavior impacts, not only at Alabama State University but on campuses across the United States," says Chris Johns, director of ASU's Counseling Services, which is the host of the event. 

Working with Johns is his assistant, Tonya Cleveland, who serves both as a counselor and as the coordinator of groups and workshops, like the Rethink Your Drink Workshop. 

"Alcohol events centered around hard liquor, beer and wine, have been a decades-long ritual that some students often see as an integral part of their higher education experience," Cleveland stated. "Some students enter college in their freshman year with established drinking habits, and the college environment can sometimes lead to an even bigger problem."

Recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), shows that almost half of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 years-old consumed alcohol in the past month. Among the 49.3 percent who did so, almost a third (27.4 percent) engaged in binge drinking during that same time frame, which is defined as consuming five drinks or more on one occasion. The information indicated that some college students drink at least twice that amount, which is known as high-intensity drinking.


Underage and binge drinking can pose serious health and safety risks, including car crashes, drunk-driving arrests, sexual assaults, injuries, and criminal acts. Over the long term, frequent binge drinking can damage the liver and other organs, and may cause premature death.

"The purpose of our event is pure and simple—to  bring these alcohol-related issues and problems top-of-mind and to help shed some light on what was once thought of as just a college-aged right of passage to what it truly is — a major health issue that maims bodies, ruins careers and takes lives," Johns said. "Those who attend our event will learn about the early signs of the problem and how best to alleviate and combat it."

For more info on any alcohol issue: 334-604-8071.

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.