It’s April, which means it is time to start thinking about National Alcohol Screening Day (NASD). NASD was created in 1999 by the National Institutes of Health to bring awareness to alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and how to get help for these disorders. It is held annually on Thursday of the first full week of April. People who wish to be screened take a written, self-reported survey about their alcohol use and, when it is appropriate, those who may be at risk are given advice on where they can seek help.
Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can have a presence on college campuses, because many students see heavy drinking as an essential part of their college experience. In 2013, 19% of college students met the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence (National Institutes of Health, 2013). Alcoholism can be defined as a progressive disease that is marked by a dependence on alcohol and the inability to stop drinking even when it is causing problems in the person’s life. People with alcoholism may even experience withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, headache or insomnia when they don’t drink. Alcohol abuse is more common on college campuses than alcohol dependence. College students typically abuse alcohol by drinking it in large volumes. Excessive, often rapid, consumption of alcohol is also known as “binge drinking”. Binge drinking can be defined as a pattern of drinking that brings the blood alcohol concentration to .08 g/dL. This would measure out as 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men within a span of 2 hours. Heavy drinking can cause numerous problems in your life including academic problems, unsafe sex, sexual abuse, assault, injury, and even death.
There are many ways to combat alcoholism and alcohol abuse including medications, counseling, support groups, and even meditation. If you believe you may be a problem drinker, take an Alcohol Screening test this month. With the proper support, you can get your life back on track!
National Alcohol Screening day is officially on April 9th, 2015. Ball State will be doing their screenings at different times and locations from April 6th until April 9th. The screenings on Monday, April 6th and Thursday, April 9th will be held from 5pm-9pm in the Rec Center. The screenings on Tuesday, April 7th will be in Letterman Building from 12pm-2pm. Bracken Library will be the site for the screenings from 5pm-9pm on Wednesday, April 8th.
Monthly Health Message written by Health, Alcohol and Drug Education intern Kendra Geis
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