We're Building A Better Tri-State Together
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Mental health advocates warn about the dangers of college binge drinking

A graphic from a public awareness campaign aimed at warning college students of the dangers of binge drinking. The text is a mix of script and block lettering in white and yellow on a red background. There is a hand wearing a foam finger on the right. The text reads "no one wins when Alcohol Is number 1. Alcohol is the number 1 Drug Indiana Students Use." There is also a website at the bottom, whats your number 1 dot org.
Courtesy of Mental Health America of Indiana
A public awareness campaign from Mental Health America of Indiana, the Indiana Collegiate Action Network and the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking urges people to visit whatsyournumber1.org to find an assessment and resources for young people struggling with drinking.

Mental health advocates are warning Indiana college students about the dangers of binge drinking – and its link to poor mental health.

In a recent survey, nearly one-fifth of Indiana college students reported drinking to get away from problems. And about a quarter said they felt bad about their drinking.

Lisa Hutcheson, Mental Health America of Indiana vice president, said those issues didn’t improve during the pandemic.

“There weren’t the massive parties that there are, because of COVID, but students were drinking alone or drinking with one other person," Hutcheson said. "So, the drinking continued.”

A new statewide public awareness campaign from Mental Health America of Indiana, the Indiana Collegiate Action Network and the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking centers on that issue.

Hutcheson said there’s understandably been focus on opioids – but alcohol is still, in her words, “the most widely used drug.”

“It is still the one that most people start with before they move on to other substances,” Hutcheson said.

The campaign urges people to visit whatsyournumber1.org to find an assessment and resources for young people struggling with drinking.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri.