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The Florida college scene: Is alcohol causing your problems?

Thousands of young adults attend college in Florida. Perhaps you're one of many in-state students who commute or attend a school not far from your home town. You may also be one of many who come to St. Augustine or a nearby region to go to college from the West Coast or somewhere else in the United States. You're likely to meet diverse groups of people while you're in school. You'll also find you have things in common with some.

Something many college students seem to have in common is a drinking habit. It's no secret that even on dry campuses, alcohol consumption is a big problem when students break the rules, get too rowdy or run into trouble with local law enforcement off-campus. If you're part of the social drinking scene in college, you're at risk for such problems. Understanding the underlying reasons many college students drink may help you make responsible choices.

Here are the main five

Your reasons for drinking on or off-campus may or may not be included in the following list. However, this list shows the most commonly cited issues students mention when asked why alcohol consumption is so popular in Florida colleges and others throughout the nation:

  • Many students say drinking alcohol helps them release stress.
  • Some students, especially those who are shy or get nervous in social atmospheres, use alcohol to help them feel relaxed and to break the ice when meeting new people.
  • A lot of people drink because they think it adds an element of fun to their activities.
  • You may be among those who say binge drinking helps them forget their problems.
  • Peer pressure doesn't end after high school. Many college students say they want to fit in with various social groups and they drink because their friends talk them into it.

If you drink alcohol in college, does it mean you are going to fail your courses, wind up in jail and ruin your future? The answer depends on several key factors, with a main one being whether you are of legal age to consume alcohol. Also, even if you run into legal trouble while you're away at school, it doesn't necessarily mean you won't be able to achieve your ultimate life goals, beginning with earning a college degree.

Support is available

College life can be quite stressful. If things have gotten out of hand and you feel like you need help to overcome a substance abuse problem, you can talk to your school administrators, who can provide on-campus or local resources to support you. There are many Florida college students who have successfully overcome personal and legal problems associated with alcohol.

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