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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

Counseling needed for underage drinkers

By Andrew Cengiz

There has been a lot of talk concerning binge drinking on campuses lately, but few of these conversations have dealt with the root of the problem.

According to a 2004 study released by the Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Medical University of South Carolina, alcohol problems are most prevalent in insecure males.

“Male students are more likely to engage in binge drinking (and) meet criteria for an alcohol use disorder…The onset of social anxiety disorder typically precedes the onset of alcohol problems,” the study said.

This shouldn’t be a big surprise to most people. Insecure, undeveloped males often tend to be the perpetrators of many of society’s more pathetic problems, e.g., college drinking, road rage, bad rap music, etc. It would seem obvious to the casual observer that there is a direct link between insecurity in males and alcohol consumption. However, “the study of the relations among these variables have been neglected,” according to the study.

Many programs and attempts have been made to curb underage drinking at colleges, but most include deterrents such as fines and academic punishment. These sort of measures do not work in the long run. If underage, irresponsible drinking is to decrease, programs need to focus more on reforming current perpetrators than preventing future offenses.

In order to do this, the U should consider a program that requires repeat offenders of underage, and especially binge drinking, to undergo counseling.

A drinking problem is an emotional and mental problem and therefore needs to be treated by someone who deals with emotional and mental handicaps. These sessions should be paid for by the students or the parents. Not every 18-year-old caught with a beer needs these drastic measures, but for repeat offenders, the behavior is less than innocent.

Underage drinkers are breaking school policy and state law and should be held accountable. If the U and other universities really care to solve this problem, they need to try something new. It’s time for some tough love. Stop trying to persuade students to obey the law and start being more forceful.

Current forms of persuasion, such as the programs established by the American Medical Association in April 1996, don’t work. If underage students drink repeatedly, they should be kicked out of school or required to undergo the counseling.

[email protected]

Andrew Cengiz

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