Alcohol Use & Abuse


Helpful Links

Alcoholics Anonymous - Memphis Area 
Alcohilics Anonymous - International 
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking has been defined as drinking more than 4-5 drinks in a row in one sitting.  A drink is defined as a 12 ounce can or bottle of beer or a wine cooler, a four ounce glass of wine, or a shot of liquor.

Research indicates that binge drinking is more common among men than women. Additional research with college populations have found that those students who have engaged in binge drinking were more likely to miss classes, fall behind in school work, engage in unplanned sexual activity, damage property, be hurt or injured, drink and drive, use other drugs, and get into trouble with campus police.

When asked why they engage in binge drinking, students cited the following reasons:

  • Drinking to get drunk
  • Status associated with drinking
  • Culture of alcohol consumption on campus
  • Peer pressure
  • Academic stress

Rhodes College and Binge Drinking

Results of Social Norms Survey: Rites of Spring 2000

  • 3 out of 5 Rhodes students drink 0-4 drinks when they choose to drink.
  • 72% of Rhodes students surveyed did not believe that you had to drink to fit in at Rhodes.
  • 70% of Rhodes “A” students surveyed reported drinking 0-4 drinks when they choose to drink.
  • 3 out of 4 Rhodes Women reported drinking 0-4 drinks when they chose to drink.

Ways to Avoid Binge Drinking

  • Pace drinking, allow time between drinks
  • Consider alternating nonalcoholic drinks with those containing alcohol.
  • Don′t drink on an empty stomach. Foods with fats and/or proteins slow alcohol absorption
  • Keep track of how much you are drinking. Know how much alcohol is poured in every glass.
  • Dilute distilled beverages, avoid drinking it straight.
  • Avoid possible interactions between alcohol and other drugs (including food and over the counter medications).
  • Drink only if YOU want to, don′t let others dictate your choice.
  • Keep active. If you are active you will drink less and will be more aware of your level of intoxication.
  • Keep out of chugging contests or other drinking games. Stop drinking before the party is over to allow your liver time to burn off some of the alcohol.

Local Support Groups

Alcoholic Anonymous - 454-1414

Recommended Reading

Alcohol Abuse: Straight Talk Straight Answers by Sales
Alcohol and Tobacco - America′s Drugs of Choice by Quiram
Drinking: A Love Story by Knapp
Rational Recovery: The New Cure for Substance Addiction by Trimpey
Moderate Drinking: The Moderation Management Guide for People Who Want to Reduce Their Drinking by Kishline

Books Available at the Counseling Center

Drinking - A Love Story by Knapp
Alcohol - How to Give It Up and be Glad You Did by Tate
Moderate Drinking by Kishline
Trauma and Addiction by Dayton

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Alcoholism is a disease that affects not only the addicted person, but his/her family as well. Many children grow up in homes where one or both parents are alcoholics or abuse alcohol. Sometimes children of alcoholics are also physically, sexually, and emotionally abused. But even if no overt abuse takes place, the child growing up in an alcoholic family suffers damage.

Adult Children of Alcoholics often experience some of the following:

  • they also abuse alcohol or have problems with alcohol use
  • problems with interpersonal relationships
  • trouble with anger management
  • low self-esteem
  • inability to trust
  • feelings of guilt
  • depression

Facts and Figures for Children of Alcoholics:

  • Alcoholics are more likely than nonalcoholics to have an alcoholic father, mother, sibling, or other relative. In addition, children of alcoholics (COAs) are more likely than non-COAs to marry into families in which alcoholism is prevalent.
  • Roughly 1 in 8 American adults is alcoholic or experiences problems due to the use of alcohol.
  • It is estimated that there are 28.6 million COAs in the U.S.; 6.6 million are under the age of 18.
  • COAs are 2 to 4 times more likely than non-COAs to develop alcoholism.
  • Physiological and environmental factors appear to place COAs at greater risk of becoming alcoholic.
  • COAs are at increased risk for other drug use, especially as they approach late adolescence.
  • COAs often believe that they will be failures even if they do well academically. They do not see themselves as successful.

Statistics from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information

If you identify some of the above issues as relating to you, it might help to talk to someone. The Counseling and Student Development Center provides free and confidential assistance, call ext. 3849 for an appointment.

Also, the following groups are available in Memphis:

  • Adult Children of Alcoholics. A support group for adult children of alcohol-addicted parents to deal with issues from their childhood. Contact the Alcohol and Drug Council at 274-0056 for information on daily groups. No cost.
  • Al-Anon. A 12-step support group for family and friends of an alcohol-addicted person. Contact the Al-Anon answering service at 278-5953 for information on daily groups. No cost.
  • Alateen. For support of teenagers who are coping with family members and friends who are alcohol-addicted. Contact the Alateen answering service at 278-5953 for information on groups. No cost.

If you are interested in participating in a COA support group on campus, contact ext. 3849.

Recommended Readings

Substance Abuse

Intervention: How to Help Someone Who Doesn′t Want Help. A step-by-step guide for families and friends of chemically dependent persons. Author: Vernon E. Johnson, D.D. Johnson Institute Books, 1986.

The Addictive Personality: Roots, Rituals and Recovery. Going beyond the definition that limits addiciton to the realm of alcohol and other drugs, The Addictive Personality uncovers the common denominators of all addictions and how, over time, an addictive personality develops. Author: Craig Nakken; Hazelden Books, 1988.

When Your Parent Drinks Too Much: A Book for Teenagers. A resource for understanding alcoholism, why you can′t cure your parent′s drinking problem, how you can ′detach′ from the disease to improve your own life, how to handle the shame and guilt, and where to go for help. Author: Eric Ryerson. Facts on File Publications, 1985.


Adult Children of Alcoholics. A best seller that addresses the effects of family addiction on the adult child′s past and present and how he or she can break the cycle. Author: Janet Geringer Woititz, Ed.D. Health Communications, Inc. 1983.

A Workbook for Healing: Adult Children of Alcoholics. A self-paced workbook for healing that offers specific exercises on how to evaluate childhood experiences with adult awareness, resolve lingering anger, sadness and pain, forgive the alcoholic parent in your past, and use affirmations to achieve peace of mind. Author: Patty McConnell. Harper & Row Publishers, 1986.

Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics. Are women who were raised in alcoholic families different from women raised in non-alcoholic families? This book brings together the thoughts, ideas and feelings of more than 1200 women as they examine the effects of family addiction on their adult lives. Author: Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D. Health Communications, Inc. 1989.

Co-Dependence: Misunderstood, Mistreated. An exploration of our view and understanding of co-dependence that goes beyond close relationships with a chemically dependent person to include troubled and unhealthy relationships in general. Author: Anne Wilson Schaef. Harper & Row, Publishers, 1986.

ACOA OnLine has some great information and links regarding alcohol issues. A good site for ACOAs and also for others interested in alcohol and other issues.