The misuse of alcohol and illegal use of controlled substances also creates health risks for the user. A review of some of the more prominent risks include:
Alcohol, a depressant, is absorbed into the bloodstream and transmitted to virtually all parts of the body. Although the impact varies with each individual, even moderate amounts of alcohol reduce physical coordination and mental alertness. Larger amounts cause staggering, slurred speech, double vision, sudden mood swings, and unconsciousness. Long-term heavy drinking and binge drinking may result in respiratory arrest and death. Long-term drinking increases the risk of developing liver and heart disease, circulatory problems, peptic ulcers, various forms of cancer, and irreversible brain damage. Heavy drinkers also may become dependent upon the drug and die if it is withdrawn too quickly.
In addition to the above mentioned health risks, an association has been identified between alcohol use and impaired learning, violence, injuries, accidents, acquaintance rape, unwanted pregnancy, and sexually transmitted disease.
Recent campus statistics show that alcohol is involved in:
- approximately 66% of all violent behavior
- approximately 50% of all physical injury
- approximately 33% of all emotional difficulties
- approximately 30% of all academic problems.