Leaving Team Sports and Becoming Socially Isolated in College Contributes to Binge Drinking

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Letter to the Editor Battle of Braddock's Field

Two-cent U.S. postage stamp. You, too can put in your two cents’ worth with a letter to the editor published by Darienite.com. Email it to dave@darienite.com. Election letters will be accepted up to 11:59 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021.

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To The editor,

Did you know that one of the greatest predictors of binge drinking in college is participation in team sports in high school?

This fact is shocking to many parents in Darien when I have spoken this last year at the Darien schools.

Letter to the Editor Battle of Braddock's Field

Two-cent U.S. postage stamp. You, too can put in your two cents’ worth with a letter to the editor published by Darienite.com. Email it to dave@darienite.com.

But let’s think this through, unless your child is planning to continue pursuing their sport in college, your child will have more unstructured time than they have ever had in their life. Perhaps they will experience a loss of identity and affiliation, and perhaps a loss of social competence as a result. This creates a perfect storm for a yearning for new connections and affiliation which can easily be satisfied through binge drinking.

The loss of competitiveness on the sports field will now be replaced by a new level of competitiveness in drinking games. I have recently spoken to college counselors who told me they are experiencing an unprecedented level of social isolation, loneliness, anxiety and depression in students they have never seen in their respective careers.

It has been said that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection. Darien parents need to find ways to connect kids to their family and community today that will be protective factors and will prepare them for connections in college tomorrow.

For more on this topic please come see Dr. Turrisi from the Prevention Research Center at The Pennsylvania State University talk at 7 p.m., Nov. 20 at Darien Library.

John Hamilton
President and CEO of Liberation Programs

Liberation Programs is a behavioral health organization specializing in treatment for all types of substance use disorders including alcohol, opiates, depressants and stimulants. In operation since 1971, the agency has sites in Greenwich, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport and served more than 2,000 individuals in its last fiscal year.

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