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Women that drink during early adulthood at higher risk for breast cancer

Higher education and drinking often go hand-in-hand. For many college students, this is their first time making decisions about alcohol on their own, their parents aren’t present, and many feel pressure to drink from their peers. Because of these factors and others, approximately four out of every five college students consume alcohol and of those that drink, about half admit to binge drinking, states the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Drinking responsibly in college

Many college students tend to refrain from drinking responsibly during their college years because they are unsure of how it can really affect them. In order to drink more responsibly in college, students should:

  • Write down why they want to cut down on how often they drink.
  • Select a limit for how much they will drink.
  • Log how much they drink on a weekly basis.
  • Drink slowly and eat food in-between drinks when out at a party.

The effects of alcohol consumption on college students aren’t just limited to the night they spend at a party drinking. Drinking may cause the student to have trouble with their studies and may lead to injuries and memory loss. In addition to these effects, a new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that the amount of alcohol a young woman consumes between the occurrence of her first period and pregnancy, the higher her risk was for developing breast cancer and breast disease.

These conclusions were based on data collected from 91,005 mothers that participated in the study from 1989 to 2009. According to researchers, if a woman drinks one glass of alcohol a day between the time of her first period and pregnancy, she increases her chances of breast cancer by 13 percent. The reason for this added risk among young women is due to the fact that breast cells rapidly develop between these time periods, making them more susceptible to carcinogens.

University alcohol policies

To control drinking on college campuses and shield students from the consequences, many universities in Colorado have strict alcohol consumption policies that their students must adhere to. For example, at the University of Colorado Boulder, the unlawful possession, consumption or distribution of alcoholic beverages is prohibited at university activities, property and any events that are affiliated with the university away from campus.

While there are many different effects of college drinking, legal consequences also arise if a student is caught drinking or possessing alcohol if they are under the age of 21, says Colorado State University. Receiving a Minor in Possession may subject the student to a $250 fine for the first offense, and $500 fine upon the second. Sometimes, receiving an MIP will even result in the student losing their driver’s license for several months, the requirement to perform community service or participate in alcohol treatment or education programs at the expense of the student.

If you were given an MIP for underage drinking, consult with an attorney in your area that can help you minimize the legal consequences of the MIP so that you can continue to thrive during your college years.