Many were shocked and saddened by the sudden, unexpected demise of singer Whitney Houston. Most wonder about the cause of death. While answers will undoubtedly come from the toxicology report, the news media tells of the presence of strong prescription meds in her hotel room. Those at her last impromptu musical performance testify that she had been drinking and appeared under the influence. Some medications combined with alcohol can be deadly, especially for those bathing in a hot tub. The singer takes her place in a long line of talented people whose lives were cut short or ruined by drug and alcohol addiction.
Perhaps Houston’s death can provide the vivid example needed to make changes in the drinking habits of many college students. Admissions officers and college marketers do a great job in helping young people from a variety of backgrounds get an education that can enrich their future. But the unrestrained party atmosphere on some campuses can prove to be a trap leading to alcoholism, squandered opportunities and wasted lives. According to a Center for Science in the Public Interest report:
• Annually some 30,000 college students overdose on alcohol, requiring medical treatment.
• 44% of students attending 4-year colleges engage in binge drinking.
• 19% of college students ages 18–24 met the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence....