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US: The warnings about alcohol that college students aren't getting

Found: Wed Dec 05 14:08:00 2018 PST
Source: Burlington County Times (NJ)
Copyright: 2018 Calkins Newspapers. Inc.
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2018 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2018 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Webpage: [translate]
Author: Aneri Pattani

topical analysis
prison was NOT mentioned
propaganda analysis

The warnings about alcohol that college students aren't getting The warnings about alcohol that college students aren't getting

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The warnings about alcohol that college students aren't getting

by Aneri Pattani, Posted: August 23, 2018

Gemmika Champion, a student at Drexel University, has been in recovery from alcohol use disorder for more than three years.

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

The first time Bob Lamb thought of alcohol as an escape, he was standing in a hospital emergency room. A friend of his had collapsed and Lamb, then a sophomore at the University of the Sciences, had performed CPR. "I kept him alive long enough for his dad to see him," Lamb recalled.

After his friend died, Lamb thought, "I need to get out of here, to get drunk and forget everything that I'm feeling."

Until then, Lamb drank occasionally, like many college students, but that night was the beginning of a downward spiral. He became a daily drinker, missed classes, and failed courses. He took several leaves from school to get mental-health and substance-use care.

Now more than six years in recovery, and a recent graduate of Temple University's master of public health program, Lamb, 30, recognizes that his alcohol-use disorder stemmed from the trauma of his friend's death. But the realization caught him off guard.

As a teenager, he'd been told not to drink and drive. To match every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. To never go to college parties alone. But none of the warnings he'd received about alcohol mentioned mental health.

As millions of freshmen arrive on college campuses this month and next, they are warned of binge drinking, alcohol poisoning, and sexual assault. Parents dropping their children off may have thought about episodes such as the death of 19-year-old Tim Piazza after a night of alcohol-fueled hazing at Pennsylvania State University. But for most, there likely was little discussion of the relationship between alcohol and mental health, or how drinking can exacerbate anxiety and depression -- increasingly common diagnoses among incoming students.

"We have a major alcohol problem that has never really been properly addressed," said Pascal Scoles, director of Community College of Philadelphia's collegiate recovery program.

Courtesy Bob Lamb

Bob Lamb, a recent graduate from Temple's master of public health program, has been in recovery from alcohol use disorder for more than six years.

The national conversation about addiction has been focused on opioids, which college recovery experts say is appropriate. But they worry that alcohol will continue to be overlooked. "Alcohol is often the forgotten issue," said Devin Reaves, executive director of the Pennsylvania Harm Reduction Coalition.

Seven percent to 12 percent of college students misuse opioids, according to the American College Health Association, and about 20 percent meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder.

Not only are more young people dying from alcohol-related liver disease, but excessive drinking also can worsen mental illness and has been linked to suicidal thoughts. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among college students.

Despite these consequences, American society, and college campuses in particular, treat alcohol differently from other drugs, said Frank Greenagel, an addiction policy expert in New Jersey who works with college students. Many think it's harmless, he said, and the focus on opioids can further normalize that. "Now people with a drinking problem think, 'At least I'm not taking pills.' "

How alcohol affects mental health

When working with students in recovery at CCP, Scoles addresses substance use and mental health at the same time. "I've always felt that you can't really separate them out anyway," he said.

Research backs him up. About 20 percent of people with a history of substance use disorder suffer from at least one mood disorder and 18 percent suffer from at least one anxiety disorder, according to a federally funded study. Long-term alcohol use has been shown to decrease the brain's levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to feelings of happiness and plays a large role in depression. Drinking also lowers blood sugar and causes dehydration -- conditions that can mimic symptoms of anxiety or trigger an episode. Alcohol consumption can also lead to a loss of inhibition, impaired judgment, and impulsiveness, which studies have linked to a higher risk of suicide.

To make matters worse, drinking can counteract the benefits of many psychiatric medications. Alcohol and antidepressants, for example, affect many of the same neurotransmitter pathways. If the medication is aimed at increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, extended alcohol use can slow that process. Sometimes the effects are more dire. Some antidepressants inhibit the body's ability to break down tyramine -- an amino acid found in certain types of alcohol. Drinking while on those medications can lead to dangerous spikes in blood pressure.

Although it's clear that mental health and substance use are connected, Scoles said, the exact relationship varies. For some people, substance use leads to mental-health concerns as they lose jobs and friends, and suffer other consequences. Others will turn to alcohol and other drugs as a way of coping with pre-existing mental-health issues.

DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer

Gemmika Champion, a student at Drexel University, has been in recovery from alcohol use disorder for more than three years.

For Gemmika Champion, a 24-year-old from Overbrook, drinking was a way to self-medicate her social anxiety and deal with childhood trauma. She had her first drink at 12, started binge drinking at 16, and began drinking daily when she got to college.

"I had a lot of discomfort about how to fit in and whether or not I liked myself," Champion said. Alcohol helped with that, at least in the moment. "But in the morning, I'd feel that pang of anxiety, guilt, and shame," she said. "And I'd think, 'What's the solution for that? What worked last night? To drink.'"

It's easy for college students to get caught in that cycle, said Stephanie Ives, associate vice president and dean of students at Temple University. Many students drink to socialize or self-medicate, she said, but for some, that evolves into dependency.

Champion broke the cycle by going through detox, therapy, and a 12-step program. Now three years sober and a master's student at Drexel University, she continues therapy, recognizing that good mental-health care is just as important to her recovery as abstaining from alcohol. "Addiction is a chronic disease that requires constant maintenance," she said.

'A holistic approach'

College recovery specialists say the goal of discussing alcohol is not to shift resources away from addressing opioids or other drugs.

Most students with a substance-use disorder have used multiple drugs, said Lisa Laitman, director of the alcohol and drug assistance program at Rutgers University. "We need to have a holistic approach with different substances, and also with mental health," she said. "It isn't one or the other."

A growing number of colleges are offering on-campus recovery programs that provide counseling, student support groups and sober activities. Some, such as the programs at Rutgers and Penn State, also offer sober dorms for students in recovery.

"A lot of people have this idea that if a student develops a substance-use disorder, that they should never go back to college because it's a high-risk environment," said Jason Whitney, program coordinator of Penn State's collegiate recovery community. "But in many cases, their odds are better if they come to a college with a recovery program than stay at home."

DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Mike Luna, student body president at CCP, has been in recovery from alcohol and opioid use disorder for more than two years.

For Mike Luna, the recovery program at CCP has made all the difference. Luna, 29, left home in New Jersey at 21 to try to find independence and a job in Philadelphia. But when he struggled to make child-care payments and afford the trips back home, he lost partial custody of his son. That's what fueled his drinking. "It was to run from reality," he said, "from the emptiness and resentment I had for not being able to provide for my child."

He visited bars in the morning, spent the day selling pirated DVDs to finance his addiction, and returned to the bars at night. After being prescribed opioids for a gunshot wound, he got hooked on those, too.

Once he got clean, more than two years and 40 days ago -- per the app on his cellphone that tracks his days, minutes and seconds in recovery -- Luna knew he needed the structure of a recovery program to stay clean. "It's the real reason I came to CCP," he said.

Engaging with mentors and other students has helped him work through his anger and stay accountable. He was recently elected student body president and is on track to graduate with a degree in liberal arts in 2020.

"Going from a certificate from rehab to a college degree didn't seem realistic," he said, but "I was able to turn the psychological warfare of addiction into accomplishment."

At colleges that don't have recovery programs, there are still many ways to help students with substance-use disorder, experts say. It can involve employing a substance-use specialist in college counseling centers or increasing student awareness about the link between substance use and mental health. It's also important to confront the normalization of drinking culture, because fewer young people are drinking than most students assume.

It must be a constant conversation, Laitman said. "You don't do a one-hour session at the beginning of the year at orientation and that's it," she said. "Students are overwhelmed at orientation, so it needs to be an ongoing process."

Posted: August 23, 2018 - 5:00 AM


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analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:72 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:1 stimulant hits:0 narcotic hits:6 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? NO - the issue of prison or incarceration was NOT mentioned in this article .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:0 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:35 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:8 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:15 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:12 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:2 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

harm reduction illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda
[news] [concept]

propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 propaganda theme4 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
 addiction 60%
[news] [concept]
"addiction" "hooked" "dependency"7Twelve-Step Snake Oil (2012)
Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts, and Pushers (Thomas Szasz)
Rat Park
Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It: Why Is This Widely Denied? (2014)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 80%
[news] [concept]

"Harm" "dangerous" "deadly" "dehydration" "blood pressure" "death" "anxiety" "dangers" "dangers of" "impaired" "poisoning" "problem" "depression" "mental illness" "disease" "suicidal" "Suicide" addiction28Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"society" "American" "Community" "public health"8Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
 use is abuse

use is abuse 95%
[news] [concept]

"substance-use" "substance use"10Use is Abuse (propaganda theme 4)

gateway 55%
[news] [concept]

"can lead to" "lead to" "leads to" "pathways"5Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
Distortion 7: Gateway
propaganda_theme4 : drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gatewaygateway, use is abuse

propaganda theme4 95%
[news] [concept]

use is abuse gateway Use is Abuse, Gateway (propaganda theme 4)
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]

"teenager" "child" "children" "kids" "baby" "teens" "young people" "Parents" "Parent"12Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 75%
[news] [concept]

"assault" "struggled"2Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

various illegal drugs addiction cannabis narcotic  
 drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 harm reduction
[news] [concept]
"Harm Reduction"
Distortion 4: Harm Reduction
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

 psychoactive plant

plants 59%
[news] [concept]

 psychoactive pharmaceutical

pharms 50%
[news] [concept]

 nsai 50%
[news] [concept]
 nonnarcotic analgesic 50%
[news] [concept]
 intoxicant 59%
[news] [concept]
opioid : opiate-like but synthetic drugsopioid

[news] [concept]

"opioids" "opioid"6Managing Pain
 depressant intoxicant
[news] [concept]
medical_cannabis : cannabis for medical usemedical cannabis 59%
[news] [concept]
"Charlotte's Web"
Cannabis Treats Anxiety, Depression And Activates Pathways That Regulate Emotional Behavior (2014)
The Flower (video cartoon)
[news] [concept]
opioid Managing Pain
[news] [concept]
"alcoholic" "alcohol" "alcohol-use" "alcohol-fueled" "alcohol-related" "binge drinking" "drunk"37Stanton Peele Addiction Web Site
Pot Threatens Booze Profits
cannabis : cannabis (marijuana) product or usecannabis 59%
[news] [concept]
medical cannabis Cannabis: Religious and Spiritual Uses
Cannabis-Driving Studies Cannabis Link DB
Schaffer Library: Marijuana
U.S. Prisons Thriving on Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests (2013)

acetaminophen 50%
[news] [concept]

"liver disease"
Tylenol liver damage
acetaminophen liver damage
paracetamol liver damage
Acetaminophen attenuates error evaluation in cortex (2016)
Acetaminophen Linked to Lower Empathy Levels (2016)
 various drugs 95%
[news] [concept]
"drugs" "drug"9 
 various illegal drugs 80%
[news] [concept]
"alcohol and drug"
DEA's Drugs of Abuse booklet
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]
"school" "college" "colleges" "University"
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"experts" "expert"3Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)

st:0.02 fo:0 s:0 d:0 c:0 db:0.233 a:0.69 m:0.9 t:2.23 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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    article tags


    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    school concept
    youth concept
    various_illegal_drugs concept - general terms for illegal drugs
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    acetaminophen concept - Acetaminophen is a non-salicylate analgesic and antipyretic (pain killer and fever reducer). It is a common over-the-counter pain medication found in hundreds of products around the world. At higher doses it is known to cause liver-damage. (N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)acetamide)
    cannabis concept - cannabis (marijuana) product or use
    alcohol concept - ethyl alcohol for intoxication
    narcotic concept - a drug that dulls senses, relieves pain, induces sleep
    medical_cannabis concept - cannabis for medical use
    depressant_intoxicant concept
    opioid concept - opiate-like but synthetic drugs
    intoxicant concept
    nonnarcotic_analgesic concept
    nsai concept
    pharms concept - Psychoactive Pharmaceuticals are over-the-counter or prescription chemicals approved for human medicinal use, with mind- or emotion-altering properties
    plants concept - Plants listed in this section are those which have been used by humans for their mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    harm_reduction concept - harm reduction
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme4 concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse, gateway
    gateway concept - drug war propaganda theme: gateway
    use_is_abuse concept - drug war propaganda theme: all use is abuse
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    addiction concept - addition or drug dependency
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition