Alcohol Awareness
To Drink or Not to Drink?

There are many reasons why people drink or don't drink alcohol.  
Some people like to drink because...

• they feel relaxed
• they feel more confident
• gives them a sense of adventure
• relives stress
• relives boredom
• everyone does it

Some don't like to drink because...

• they don't like being drunk
• they don't like losing control
• they don't like hangovers
• it makes them feel sick
• they have seen its bad
effects on others
• they are concerned about their health and fitness

Here are a few factors affecting a student's motivation and ability to drink:

Expectations / Peer Pressure
A common perception held by first-year students is that university life is one big party and drinking is an expected behavior. Some drink to belong to a crowd, where the pressure to drink is strong and drinking is deemed as fun. It gives a false sense of courage allowing them to do things they wouldn't normally do.
Many find it easier to talk to others and meet new friends when they have been drinking.

Price of Alcohol / Cash Available
In some cases, the more money a student has at their disposal, the more they are inclined to socialize and drink. The intent may not be to get drunk, but more money buys more alcohol, and more alcohol or cheaper drinks cause people to drink more.

Stress / Escapism
Sometimes students can get overwhelmed with exams and assignments, and drink to relieve the stress. They may also drink to escape from thinking about the future and upcoming decisions they will be making.
Location / Atmosphere
Easier access to alcohol and lower prices tend to increase alcohol consumption as well as parties and pub nights.

Some students are experimenting with their independence and decision making as well as limit testing. They are establishing autonomy from their parents and setting their own rules.

The most important thing is to be aware of your reasons for drinking. Make sure you set limits for yourself -- and stick to them. In the end it's up to you.


Last Updated: January 11,2005

©2004 The University of Lethbridge
4401 University Drive
Lethbridge, Alberta, T1K 3M4