Culture & Lifestyle / College Students & Alcoholism

College Students & Alcoholism

Culture & Lifestyle Feb 22, 2014


Psychotherapist explores the causes of alcoholism.

Rayne E. Golay, certified drug and alcohol counselor, uses her award-winning book The Wooden Chair to explain that when it comes to alcohol addiction, things aren’t so clear cut.  

The Wooden Chair, published in 2013 by Untreed Reads, won the Royal Palm Literary Award for mainstream literature in the 2005 Florida Writers Association’s competition and tells the story of Leini, a “young woman who realizes that she’s relying more and more on alcohol to cope with daily life,” Golay says.

“Leini also recognizes that the abuse she suffered as a child and her parent’s drinking are family patterns passed down to her from her maternal grandmother through her own mother. In my book The Wooden Chair, Leini determines to end this cycle by getting professional help.”

According to a new study published earlier this year in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, college students with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) drink more alcohol than their peers, but instead of dulling the edge, alcohol abuse exacerbates their PTSD symptoms.

Studies from different parts of the world have shown that college students have a higher prevalence of alcohol drinking and alcohol-use disorders, than noncollege youth. This could be attributed to the well established developmental phase college students go through, in which they are away from home, family and longstanding friendships.

Throughout their college years, students pass through a phase of vulnerability (intellectually, emotionally and socially), in a new environment characterized by considerable peer influence, and often aggressive promotion of alcoholic beverages.

Golay is also quick to note that not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, however she urges parents and young adults to examine whether they are using alcohol as an escape or a means to problem-solve.

Through the years, Golay observed a major misconception among her alcoholic patients: They all believed that their drinking didn’t affect anybody but themselves.

“That’s simply not true. In a home with an alcoholic parent, everyone suffers, the most vulnerable being the children,” Golay explains. “They live in an insecure and unstable home, and because the alcoholic parent’s behavior is unpredictable and terrifying, the children learn to be constantly on guard.”

Especially for college students who are caught in the delicate transitional phase of childhood and adulthood, Golay hopes that the novel will help better illustrate the underlying problems and urges young adults with alcoholic problems to seek professional help.
Source:News and Experts
Rayne E. Golay’s novel “The Wooden Chair”
Rayne E. Golay, substance abuse councilor