Alcohol Awareness - DatelineCarolina

Some USC students in danger of becoming high risk drinkers

Rhonda Dinovo, Director of USC's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Program spoke with me about alcohol awareness. Rhonda Dinovo, Director of USC's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education Program spoke with me about alcohol awareness.

By: Margaret-Ann Carter

Drinking is a way of life for some college students. The 2013 USC Core Institute Executive Summary reported that 88.1 percent of USC's students consumed alcohol in the past year. For some USC students academics becomes second to house parties, football games and Five Points fun.

It's hard to find someone who doesn't drink in college, but for one College of Charleston student growing up with an alcoholic mother was enough for her to never want to even taste alcohol.

"It's like a monster, it just takes over you and you can't do anything about it," the student who remains anonymous said. 

She said when she first came to college she was nervous people would judge her or think she was weird. She said she still goes out to parties and bars but peer pressure and alcohol doesn't get to her.

"Nobody gets it. They're like well why don't you just have a beer, like just one, but then I'm like yea but one turns into two and two turns into three, and it's just not something that I like," she said.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or the NCADD, named April Alcohol Awareness month. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported four out of five college students drink alcohol. The same organization also reported each year about 1,825 college students die from alcohol related unintentional injuries.

A 2013 study done by the AlcoholEdu Executive Summary found 26 percent of incoming freshman at the University of South Carolina are high risk drinkers. The national average is 19 percent.

"The younger you start using alcohol, the greater likelihood you have of becoming addicted to alcohol," said Rhonda Dinovo, the Director of USC's Substance Abuse Prevention and Education program. Rhonda offers these programs to help students learn about the dangers of consuming too much alcohol.

Rhonda says her goal is to make students aware of the consequences of alcohol abuse. She said if she could have it her way the drinking age would be 25, because that's the age the brain is done forming. Luckily for all college students, Rhonda can't change the law.

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