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We’ve heard it all before – the justifying voice of American society that tells us drinking games at parties are just a normal part of college life… but are they? During what is considered the most crucial time period of adjustment for first-year college students (e. g. the first six to ten weeks of their freshman year), some students are inclined to test their personal limits and boundaries in a multitude of ways. Alcohol consumption is just one of those experimental endeavors, primarily occurring in the form of drinking games.

According a study published in the Journal of American College Health, “Heavy episodic drinking during games is more likely to occur early in students’ college years.”1 Why do students initially participate in drinking games, anyway? Social advantages such as lowering inhibitions and making friends seem to be favorable at first, but the negative side effects of drinking games far outweigh the supposed benefits. Overall, inexperience plays a key role in the outcome of a first-year college student’s drinking game involvement. One could argue that alcohol education and awareness are not only helpful – they’re necessary – when it comes to cultivating the minds and behaviors of incoming freshmen at colleges around the country.

Alcohol-Wise, 3rd Millennium Classrooms’ online alcohol awareness and prevention course, encourages positive change in the high-risk drinking behavior of college students. A recent study showed that students who completed the Alcohol-Wise course prior to entering their freshman year of college demonstrated significantly lower participation rates in drinking games. This is likely due to the fact that Alcohol-Wise educates students about the harmful effects of alcohol, raises retention rates, and acts as a prevention tool for future alcohol-related violations.2 Alcohol-Wise is successful in that it reduced the overall participation in drinking games among first-year college students.

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