2008 could be a year for many PSU students to cut back on their addictions. Maybe it’s cutting back on alcohol, cigarettes or hard drugs. Whatever your vice, there are many ways to make a healthier and less addicted you this year.
2008 could be a year for many PSU students to cut back on their addictions.
Maybe it’s cutting back on alcohol, cigarettes or hard drugs. Whatever your vice, there are many ways to make a healthier and less addicted you this year.
Gwyn Ashcom, outreach coordinator for PSU’s Center for Student Health and Counseling, said getting rid of addiction is about responsibility.
“We all know that not drinking, for example, isn’t always an option or what we want to do,” she said. “But there are ways to still drink socially and do it responsibly.”
Ashcom said sticking with groups of friends, setting limits for yourself, using substances in moderation and being aware of actions around you, as well as the consequences, can help formulate safer behaviors.
“We all have that friend who thinks they’re funnier when they’re wasted,” Ashcom said. “But really, how funny are they when you can’t comprehend what they’re doing?”
According to studies issued by the nonprofit organization ETR Associates, 61 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds and 53 percent of people 26 and older binge drink regularly.
Binge drinking is described as a combination of many things, such as drinking large quantities in short amounts of time, reaching a high blood-alcohol level or experiencing problems as a result of your drinking.
If you are a man consuming five or more drinks, or a woman consuming four, more than once a week in a two-week period, you may be a binge drinker.
These people face several problems, such as increased risk of alcohol-related injuries, unplanned pregnancy, transmission of STIs, acquaintance rape and in some cases, legal issues or death.
How does someone keep their drinking from becoming a problem?
This can be simple, Ashcom said. It starts with decision-making.
Keeping drinking under control can be difficult, but there are ways to accomplish this goal. First, set a liquor limit. This will help your mindset not to exceed your desired maximum. Second, steer clear of people and places that make you feel uncomfortable. In these situations, you are more likely to drink continually because of uneasy feelings.
Also, try saving the cash you’d normally spend on drinking. Every time you don’t get that next drink, put that cash in your pocket. This could save hundreds of dollars a year.
People can suffer from many different forms of addiction. Some may be dependency issues, some may be compulsive and some may have gambling problems. In most cases, however, an addiction is an addiction because the individual is unable to stop the action without help.
Symptoms of addiction may include lack of responsibility, continually using the substance, trying to stop before and coming back to the problem, or increasing the use of the substance while being aware of its dangers.
How do I help myself or someone I know?
According to SHAC, there are steps you can take to help yourself, or someone close to you, deal with addiction.
First, sober up and get sound advice. Find someone to talk with, whether it’s a nurse, school counselor or parent. Get someone on your side.
Second, construct a plan of attack. There are numerous health centers, support groups and organizations willing to help, many on campus. Drum up your willpower and follow through with your decisions.