Enjoy College Life Without Alcohol

30 May 2016 (Mon)

Entry to college is an important turning point in life. Without parents nearby to enforce the rules, young people begin the experience of making their own decisions which facilitate personal growth. Young people also have the opportunity of personal experimentation in many areas of behaviour which include the use of alcohol.

In fact, drinking among college students represents a significant but often neglected public health issue. Similar to many developed countries, alcohol use is common among college students in Hong Kong. The Survey of Drug Use among Students in 2014/15 reported that the proportions of lifetime, 1-year and 30-day alcohol use among post-secondary students were 78.7%, 67.1% and 37.6% respectively. Among university students, studies also observed significant changes in the uptake and patterns of alcohol use through their university lives.

College is a great time in a student’s life and college partying is always fun! However, college students should know that alcohol is neither a part of college life, nor a necessity of parties and other social activities. Getting drunk and hangovers, waking up in bed with a stranger, or having an unwanted pregnancy is not part of that fun. Be smart and stay away from drinking games or alcohol-service situations. In fact, students can still enjoy a great time with de-alcoholised or non-alcoholic beverages as alternatives. Do not let alcohol ruin the precious college life, and stand up for the right to a safe alcohol-free academic environment.

Below provides you some ways to say “NO” to alcohol:

  • Give a reason or excuse, such as “I have something to do tomorrow. I’m not coming for the drink.”
  • Suggest something else which is healthier, such as “Let’s go for a movie or coffee instead.”
  • Find an ally to back you up, such as “We are the No-to-Alcohol Buddies!”
  • Refuse directly, such as “No, thanks. I don’t drink.”
  • Walk away from the situation, such as say “Sorry, some urgent business has flashed through my mind” and walk away.

To know more about youth drinking and health, please visit the Centre for Health Protection’s designated webpage on ‘Youth Drinking Harms Health”  http://www.chp.gov.hk/en/view_content/34286.html.

Special thanks to “the Pinpoint” of the School of Journalism and Communication of The Chinese University of Hong Kong for producing and granting permission for sharing a short video “Hang Over” about the youth drinking problem from the following link: https://youtu.be/JdI-uLoxrRc.