Could it be true? A study out of Penn State shows that an increase in college enrollment is linked to a decrease in alcoholism.
College and drinking seem synonymous, right? Keep reading!
The study results are linking participation in college with a long-term healthier relationship with alcohol than is true of those not ever going to college. That changes things a bit.
One fact from the study: adults who have never enrolled in a college or university are 6 times more likely to develop a drinking problem by the age 33, which is about a decade after a college student would be finishing a standard 4-year degree program.
With an approximate 18 million Americans identifying as problem drinkers or alcoholics, as cited by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, anything that could prevent that number from growing, and especially something that could reduce that number, would be amazingly helpful in our country.
Stephanie Lanza, a research associate professor of health and human development, posed an interesting concept that takes the study’s results one step further. She wondered if the answers to 2 basic questions could be used to help increase college enrollment to continue to decrease the high rates of alcoholism.
1. If all youth in the United States could go to college, what impact would that have on substance use behavior in adulthood?
2. Among kids who went to college, did college hurt them or protect them in terms of adult substance abuse?
President Obama has a goal: to lead the world in college graduation rates by the year 2020.
2006 national statistics reported that excessive drinking created an economic cost of $223.5 billion in the United States.
Will an increase in college graduation rates be enough to lower that dollar amount?
Lanza says that, “Hypothetically, if we could send everyone in the United States to college, that would be protective overall and would significantly reduce problematic substance use in adulthood.”
What do you think?
Watch a video about help Sovereign Health can provide for people who have trouble with alcohol: