Health Beat: Health and safety for college students

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

College brings excitement, challenges, changes, risks and responsibilities. Making friends, dating, being independent and learning new things are rewarding, but they can also be stressful. It can be hard to deal with pressures related to lifestyle, appearance, drugs and alcohol, and sexual activity. Work these health and safety tips into your routine to help you make the most of your college years.

Such college health and safety issues includes:

* Improve eating habits and be active

* Get seven to nine hours of sleep

* Maintain mental health and lower stress

* Avoid substance use

* Have healthy relationships and lower the risk for violence

* Prevent sexually transmitted infections

* Quit smoking

If you or someone you know is struggling with a health and safety issue, get help:

* Talk to someone you trust.

* Visit your college health center or local clinic or hospital.

* Contact the campus or community police for safety concerns and in case of an emergency.

* Be well informed about available resources on campus and in the community.

Quick facts for students

* Binge drinking prevalence (28.2 percent) and intensity (9.3 drinks) is high among people aged 18 to 24 years.

* Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men over a short period of time.

* Binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, especially among young women in college settings. Each year, about 1 in 20 college women are sexually assaulted. Binge drinking also increases the chances of car crashes, violence against others, unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

* Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused substance among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs.

* Teens and young adults who do not get enough sleep are at risk for automobile crashes, poor grades and performance in school, depressed moods, and problems with peer and adult relationships.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: