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Banning hard alcohol on campus made a difference, claims University of Washington
Jul 24 2019

Banning hard alcohol on campus made a difference, claims University of Washington

Addiction Teen Alcohol Addiction

Alcohol and alcoholic beverages are a major part of fraternity and sorority lifestyle on university campuses. Hazing and other drinking games are popular and are indulged in by almost everybody on campus. Unfortunately, a lot of young boys and girls lose their lives as a consequence of hazing, alcohol poisoning, or other alcohol-related issues.

Taking this fact into account, the North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) announced a ban on all hard liquor in fraternity events and chapter facilities, in August 2018, giving all the fraternities under its umbrella till Sept 1, 2019, to implement the ban. Talking about the ban, Judson Horras, chief executive officer and president at NIC, said that fraternities are about brotherhood, support, and personal development. However, alcohol abuse through events like hazing and bullying have serious consequences endangering the purpose of a fraternity.

University of Washington rolls out ban early

In an interesting move, the fraternities at the University of Washington (UW) banned hard drinks containing more than 15 percent alcohol on its campus in January 2019, much earlier than the September 2019 deadline. With this ban, the spirit of parties at the University of Washington will be literally “out of spirits.”

This decision has evoked mixed reactions from university students. A UW sophomore, Alex Nagode said that this move will certainly bring about a radical change on campus. A UW senior, Ellie Hurlbert expressed her surprise saying that hard drinks form a huge part of their social life on campus and banning drinks with above 15 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) means all hard drinks will be out of the list from their social events. Supporting the ban, Nagode said that keeping in line with the view of overall safety for students, this is indeed a welcomed move.

Reason behind introducing this ban

Almost 90 percent of deaths on university campuses in the last two years were caused by consumption  of alcoholic drinks at high levels. This is one of the key reasons behind introducing this ban at the UW. The fraternities have been given a year to adapt to this cultural shift, as Erik Johnson, president of UW’s Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), feels that it would not be an easy task and cannot be achieved overnight.

He however added that ever since the ban was introduced in the UW campus, there has been a marked difference in the campus culture. Hard liquor is now being served sparingly at the university chapter as well as various chapter events. Johnson said that they are actually supporting safer consumption of hard liquor across the campus.

Flip side to the ban

While some students and management officials are supporting the ban, others are wondering if it will encourage drinking behind closed doors as it is normal human tendency to push the limits whenever a restriction of this sort is introduced. A UW senior, Victoria Melendrez, added that she sees this policy posing a bigger issue than what it is at the moment. The assistant director for alcohol and drug education at UW, Jason Kilmer, said that they would need to evaluate the overall impact of this policy to see if it is able to achieve the desired outcome.

Kilmer also said that the university wants to ensure if this ban on alcohol increases the risk of other substance abuse on campus. In terms of the enforcement of this policy, he feels that a lot will depend on the student leaders to report incidents of policy violations, along with reports submitted by campus police. He added that while the outcome may vary on a case-to-case basis, initially it will be educational in nature. With the nationwide deadline not too far away, the consequences of policy violations will take into consideration a fraternity’s disciplinary history and may vary from penalties to probation.

Getting treated for teen alcoholism

In the U.S., alcohol is considered to be the one of the most widely abused substances amongst teenagers. The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that 9.7 percent Americans in the age group of 12 to 20 years consumed alcohol and 11.9 percent reported binge drinking in the last 30 days. Thus the importance for parents and guardians to closely monitor the socializing habits of their kids and seek immediate professional help if they find their loved ones getting addicted to alcohol.

A renowned addiction treatment center for adolescents and teens aged between 12 to 17, Adeona Healthcare offers evidence-based treatment approaches for teen alcohol abuse. If you know a teen addicted to alcohol and looking for teen alcohol addiction treatment, get in touch with our representatives at our 24/7 helpline 888-379-9360. You can also chat online with our admission counselor to seek proper guidance about alcohol addiction treatment for teens or ask for a reference to an adult treatment center.