Tag Archives: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

A Healthy Me, Is Drug Free!

Khadijah Lee|

ST.THOMAS-The University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas Campus took part in the international drug and alcohol abuse campaign, Red Ribbon Week, on Oct. 21-25.

According to the DrugRDumb website, Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.  The ultimate goal of the campaign is to promote a drug free America. Colleges have joined the cause as they celebrated this notorious battle against drug.

Colleges are one of the most common places where drugs, such as alcohol and other substances can be found. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found statistical evidence that shows about four out of five college students consume alcohol.

To extinguish this alarming statistic, especially in UVI, the St. Thomas campus participated in a week of events that promoted a drug-free life. Activities such as poster presentations, Red Ribbon decorative competitions between dormitories, promissory drug free signings, and Open Mic night were implemented to get the students involved.

Counselors like Ms. Dahlia Stridiron greeted students in the hallway of the Classroom Administration Building encouraging students to pledge to a drug free “week.”

“It is impossible to get students to completely stop drinking for the rest of their college lives but I was more than willing to make the pledge,” Clement Browne, a biology major, said.

Lesa Royer, a resident assistant of the Middle Dormitory, said “I have collected an estimate of 100 students who pledged to be drug free. As fun little prizes, cups and double sided eraser pencils were given out.”

The dorms also participated in decorating their dorms showing Red Ribbon Week spirit. Dorm decorations included poster murals by West Hall Dormitory and red painted rocks, which formed the shape of a ribbon by the Middle Dormitory. In first place was the East Dormitory, which was adorned with red ribbon posters, streamers and balloons.

“East Dorm definitely brought the competition and creativity. Their dorm was awesome,” Royer exclaimed.

Pass the Bottle and Party Up

Effects of drinking on college students

Nalie Frederick|

ST. THOMAS– According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) “about four out of five college students drink alcohol.”  In the Virgin Islands the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages is 18. As a result, a college freshman in the VI is allowed to purchase alcohol compared to a student in the United States who would have to wait until he or she is 21.

Due to the lenient drinking laws in the Virgin Islands, it is not the local college students that abuse the right to drink, but the foreigners coming from areas with strict laws against drinking, Jill wagner said.   All college students are affected by drinking whether they consume alcohol or not.

Many students between the ages of 18-24 consume alcohol and put themselves and others at risk for unintentional death.

Karence DeCosta, better known as Miss St. Thomas Carnival Queen in 2009, died in a car accident after her graduation celebration from the Charlotte Amalie High School. She died more than a month into her reign as queen.  It was suspected, but never confirmed, that alcohol was involved.

Many students consume alcohol and are not fully prepared for the worse outcome of the situation. According to NIAAA, about 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers and receiving lower grades overall.

Drunk smiley LadyofHats
Drunk smiley
LadyofHats

College drinking can result in termination from the campus and even worse, students can be restricted from the school property. Females who drink excessively are at risk of being assaulted and/or abused in their vulnerable state. The NIAAA states that more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape and 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.

While a vast majority of students do consume alcohol, not everyone does. “Joining groups such as brothers with a cause, sister to sister and SGA can help students refrain from alcohol” College senior Shana Gilbert said. 

Every college student needs to be aware that alcoholism is a disease. Alcohol is considered the gateway drug that leads to the use of other drugs and paves the way for addiction. The university offers a nurse and counselor that students can meet with to discuss their drinking issues and get help. Students may think they’re too young to be an alcoholic, but anyone constantly abusing alcohol is an alcoholic.

On St. Thomas, many college students attended the Metropolis Night Club due to its close proximity to the campus and its infamous “free all night” specials on Tuesdays. This made it easy for students to abuse the substance and drink excessively.  However, the club was shut down due to a consistency of violence and criminal activity.

“I do not drink and am not for drinking because it destroys the body, but I would advise those students who drink to be responsible and stay away from the campus when they do consume alcohol” freshman Paulita said.  Paulita is a mature student who lived on the island most of her life and supports alcohol awareness.

Drinking alcohol is not the problem, abusing the privilege is. If, as a college student, you feel the need or desire to drink, drink responsibly.