Alcohol and Drug Abuse Awareness

In 2016, My Canadian Pharmacy, together with the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), has implemented programs to increase youth alcohol and drug awareness. Excessive drinking in universities and colleges is an underrated public health problem. Engaging in binge drinking during student years leads to developing an addiction and may cause significant harm to health, career, and social participation.

ACUI Youth Alcohol Awareness plus My Canadian Pharmacy Informational Support

Programs to raise alcohol awareness include informational recourses on the topics related to alcohol consumption among students, parent informational leaflets, strategies to prevent uncontrolled drinking, and individual counseling of students and their parents.

Alcohol Addiction FAQ

What is alcohol use disorder?

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a medical diagnosis related to problem drinking and uncontrolled drinking. AUD is not a pattern of drinking but dependence on using alcohol. Some hard drinkers may not have Alcohol Use Disorder, though heavy drinking may result in AUD over time.

What is heavy drinking?

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), heavy drinking is having 8 or more drinks a week for a woman and 14 or more drinks a week for a man.

What is considered a standard drink?

  • A 30 ml shot of spirits
  • A 100 ml glass of wine
  • A can or bottle of beer

Does any drinking culture exist?

Drinking in a social setting without an intention to get drunk may be called “responsible drinking” or “social drinking”. It can be related to some events or celebrations that traditionally require consuming alcohol as an expression of joy or for good luck. Inviting people to feasts with a lot of alcohol in many cultures is considered a sign of wealth and hospitality. Often guests also have to invite others in return. Drinking culture always has a custom or tradition at the core.

Nowadays, the term drinking culture is overused. Some resources that promote alcohol present drinking as an expensive and “noble” habit. Indeed, drinking for the sake of drinking itself cannot be considered a part of “drinking culture”. Consuming 5–6 drinks of expensive whiskey a day in beautiful settings is no better than drinking cheap beer in a college hostel and has nothing cultural at the root.

Youth Drinking

Young people often see drinking as a symbol of their manhood and independence, and those who reject to participate in parties with a lot of alcohol might meet mockery and sneer among peers. This leads to excessive and harmful drinking in colleges and universities.

In order to prevent this social pattern in the youth environment, we get in touch with the management of colleges and universities and students’ unions to explain the risks and dangers of binge drinking among young people. Please, check the ACUI website to find whether your college or university has already embraced our alcohol awareness programs.

How to drink safely?

Having low doses of alcohol is not considered a drinking problem and may be tackled without serious consequences. The main difficulty for many young people is to stay in safe limits. Alcohol intoxication, with the following behavior problems and negative physical effects, is what you have to avoid.

The signs of alcohol intoxication normally appear after a person has had 2 standard drinks. To stay in the safe limits when drinking, follow these rules:

  • Limit drinks consumed: Do not have more than 2 of them.
  • Eat before or while drinking: It will help absorbing alcohol in the stomach and not getting intoxicated.
  • Stay hydrated, and you will feel less negative health effects.
  • Limit the money spent on alcohol.
  • Do not drink too fast: Let the body absorb alcohol before having the next drink.
  • Do not try to overtake your friend: All people react to alcohol differently and have individual alcohol tolerance. It is not where you have to compete. Listen to your body and slow down.
  • Never drive when drinking: According to NIH, about 1,825 students died of alcohol-consuming related injuries, including traffic accidents.

How can I determine if I have a drinking problem?

The difference between alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence is difficult to determine. As a rule, the former leads to the latter. If you are not able to stop drinking once you have started, get repeatedly intoxicated, and experience a hangover on the next day, you may want to speak with a college or university counselor.

In case, you do not have alcohol and drug counseling services in your educational institution, feel free to contact ACUI for guidance or check the My Canadian Pharmacy informational database. Timely preventing will help you to get rid of academic problems and health-related issues.

For self-diagnosing, you also can use international testing methods, such as the AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test) developed by WHO and CAGE Questionnaire by the American Psychiatric Association.

Is binge drinking and alcoholism the same?

Binge drinking is a pattern of consuming alcohol that involves having many drinks in a short period with a purpose to get intoxicated. Episodic heavy drinking is not alcoholism, but it can lead to it.

Binge drinking during the academic year is considered many students as an informal part of college life and academic experience. Thinking it is fun, students impose the risk of injuries related to alcohol consumptions, assault, including sexual assault, academic problems, and developing AUD.

ACUI Youth Drug Awareness and My Canadian Pharmacy Informational Guideless

It is the brain that becomes addicted to drugs. Most commonly abused drugs work to relax and increase enjoyment by boosting levels of chemicals called neurotransmitters. The brain gets used to enormous levels of those chemicals producing pleasant sensations and requires to repeat the experience over and over again.

Why do people become addicted to drugs?

It is brain that becomes addicted to drugs. Most commonly abused drugs work to relax and increase enjoyment by boosting levels of chemical called neurotransmitters. The brain gets used to enormous levels of those chemicals producing pleasant sensations and requires to repeat the experience over and over again.

Is drug addiction a disease?

In severe stages, drug addiction is considered a disease (Substance Use Disorder), and you cannot overcome it without medical help because the chemistry in the brain is changed and produce severe withdrawal syndrome. In the beginning, it is mostly a psychological addiction, which can be defeated with proper support.

Measures to Combat Drug Addiction

My Canadian Pharmacy recommends the following actions to control and fight drug addictions in colleges and universities:

  • Increased awareness and Informational support
  • Creating resources about drug addiction
  • Anonymous Drug Counseling Services
  • Social Involvement and Replacement Therapy

Do Not Be Alone

If you feel that you have an addiction that you cannot fight on your own, please seek help in college and university counseling services, browse on the Internet for information, use your local drug awareness hotlines, and ask parents for help.