Jan 232005
Authors: Jennifer Johnson

Do you have a problem?

Self-assessment of alcohol habits:

Source: Center for Drug and Alcohol Education Web site


  • 1. Have you ever felt that you should cut down on your drinking?
  • 2. Have people criticized your drinking?
  • 3. Are your relationships with your family or friends adversely affected by your drinking?
  • 4. Have you ever felt bad or guilty about your drinking?
  • 5. Do you ever take a drink first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover?
  • 6. Do you frequently drink to get drunk or until you pass out?
  • 7. Have you destroyed or damaged property while under the influence?
  • 8. Do you think about drinking a lot?
  • 9. Do you drink alone often?
  • 10. Do you avoid nonalcoholic social events?
  • 11. Do you ever drive while under the influence?
  • 12. Do you have financial problems caused by your drinking?
  • 13. Are your studies affected by your drinking?
  • 14. Do you associate mainly with other drinkers?
  • 15. Do you skip meals, substituting drinking for eating?
  • 16. Do you get upset when your alcohol supply runs out?
  • 17. Do you experience blackouts or memory losses?
  • 18. Have you ever injured yourself while drinking?
  • 19. Do you ever go to class or work intoxicated?
  • 20. Do you have a family history of alcohol abuse?
  • 21. Do you often find yourself in unplanned sexual situations?

Answering "yes" to any of these questions may indicate a problem with alcohol. Answering "yes" to many of these questions is a good indication that an alcohol problem exists (not necessarily alcoholism).

If you feel you or someone you know may have a problem feel free to call and schedule an appointment at (970) 491-1702.

The Center for Drug and Alcohol Education at Hartshorn Health Service offers education, treatment and counseling to students who may be concerned about their drug or alcohol use.

"The center is set up to assist students and their families with issues surrounding substance use, and we support the academic and personal success of CSU students," said Pam McCracken, director of the center.

McCracken said a variety of students come in to the center, including those who have violated a drug or alcohol policy, students who are facing legal issues and some who are seeking voluntary help either about themselves or someone they care about.

"Alcohol use is recognized as the number one public health issue on college campuses," McCracken said. "Most students, however, drink moderately and responsibly."

McCracken said about 22 to 23 percent of CSU's student population does not drink at all, while 22 to 23 percent would be considered heavy drinkers. The remaining students fall into the moderate category.

Aside from the obvious health issues alcohol can cause, McCracken said that both drug and alcohol use will definitely have a negative effect on daily life activities.

"Harmful effects caused by drug and alcohol use can include missing classes due to recovering from a night of drinking, disrupted sleep, lowering of the immune system and even things like unprotected sex," she said.

The center is designed to help students decrease their drug or alcohol use and break these unhealthy habits.

"We work with each student to determine what personal goals they have to reduce, or quit, using alcohol and other drugs. We look at things in their lives, academics, relationships, family history, health issues and examine what roll alcohol is playing in their ability to be successful," McCracken said. "Each person is unique with different degrees of motivation and ways they define success. In addition, each person has unique circumstances in their lives which makes a difference in how habits will be addressed, or changed."

With the recent events of Samantha Spady's death and the banning of alcohol at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, alcohol is becoming an increasingly bigger issue on college campuses. However, many students feel it is just another part of college life.

"I think that when it comes to drinking, almost everyone does it because it is just a part of the college life," said Clint Oleson a freshman computer science major.

Although Oleson feels students should enjoy a drink every once and awhile, he believes they should drink responsibly and be aware of negative repercussions.

For students who may be struggling with either alcohol or drug use, Oleson recommends finding an organization, such as the Center for Drug and Alcohol Education, or get help from a trusted friend.

Kelly Homstad, a graduate student studying forestry science, said she does not feel CSU students have a problem with drug and alcohol use and also believes drinking is normal for college students.

"I think that drinking is almost like a rite of passage for college students," she said, "However, drinking needs to be done in a responsible manner."

Homstad feels alcohol and drug use can be a big distraction for students because they may tend to sleep more and miss more classes, which could have negative effects on grades.

"It is a good idea for students who may be struggling with alcohol or drug use to talk to someone close to them who they can trust," she said.

McCracken also believes students should talk to someone regarding issues with alcohol and drug use.

"It is important to discuss the issues and feelings surrounding what is happening with drinking, or drug use," she said. "Students should develop some goals and plans to motivate them for success."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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