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College Health

College Health is a field of medicine that exclusively deals with the medical care of college age students (from age 18 through 28 years). Many colleges and universities campuses offer some sort of student health service, but there is wide variability in the healthcare resources available from campus to campus, with models of student health ranging from first aid stations employing a single nurse to large multi-specialty clinics with hundreds of employees. The vast majority of college health services are set up as service units rather than academic departments. The educational aspect of college health is sometimes referred to Health Promotion in Higher Education.

In 1988, it was estimated that there were approximately 27.3 college health staff per 10,000 students,[1] which if amortized to the 20.7 million students attending the more than 3,400 colleges and universities in the United States (in 2003) ),[2] suggests that there are approximately 56,500 college health professionals in the United States. College health professionals include physicians, physician assistants, administrators, nurses, nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, health educators, dietitians and nutritionists, and pharmacists. Some college health services extend to include massage therapists, and athletic trainers.

College health professionals are often members of a national body, such as the American College Health Association. Another national body among college health is the National Collegiate Emergency Medical Services Foundation, which is dedicated to the promotion and support of emergency medical services on college and university campuses.

There are currently two journals devoted exclusively to college health, the Journal of American College Health, available by subscription since, and collegehealth-e, a web-based journal available without subscription since October 2005.

Only one textbook is devoted entirely to the subject of college health has been published. “The History and Practice of College Health” was published in 2006 by The University Press of Kentucky, and edited by H. Spencer Turner, MD and Janet L. Hurly, PhD.[3]


Trends and Problems of Marijuana Use in College

Marijuana use among college students is only topped by alcohol. An estimated 40.1% of Americans over the age of 12, and 49.1% of college students have used marijuana. This is probably due to the easy accessibility of marijuana. To get alcohol, someone has to know a person that is of age. However, to get marijuana, there is no age limit, making it easy to purchase. One similarity to alcohol is that limited use of marijuana appears to have few negative effects on college students who are users. The hard part is in the difference between a statistical and a personal model. Models and statistics may be misleading. Some students are hit harder by the use of marijuana than others. Some users are more likely to have anxiety disorders and panic attacks. This is called a paradoxical response.[1] Continual use after these symptoms is not suggested. A counselor or psychologist or physician at your university is likely to help with these side effects. Panic attacks and anxiety may have the effect of bruising your nervous systems. If this occurs, it may take longer to heal and symptoms may continue for a longer period of time. Knowing the problems will help you with your recovery process. Do not panic over the symptoms, just don’t use marijuana again. Continued use almost always produces the same effect.

Another problem with marijuana use is a-motivational syndrome.[1] This depends on the individual’s genetics, how much he or she uses, and the amount of THC in the marijuana. Alcohol, other drug use, and sleep patterns can also contribute. Lack of sleep, heavy drinking, and marijuana use may be detrimental to a students academic life. Any important tasks one needs to get done become less important. Early classes, subjects or teachers who aren’t particularly pleasant are some things commonly avoided. Many things in college may not be enjoyable, therefore dealing with A-motivational syndrome may be difficult. A-motivational syndrome can create problems with grades, receiving a degree, following rules, and budgeting money. If you are a marijuana user and begin doing less of what you don’t like to do, it may be beneficial to see a counselor or physician on your campus. Obviously, the best thing to do is to stop using marijuana. Often this is difficult because one may be around it nearly every day. The best thing to do is to tell your friends about the difficulty you are having. Individuals with a-motivational syndrome who stop using marijuana and continued use of good eating, sleeping, and exercising habits seem to make a big difference.

If any of these effects concern you, consider talking to a counselor or someone at health services at your college.


Alcohol is a depressant used in intoxicating people, which are found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is made when microorganisms metabolize the carbohydrates when there is no oxygen present calling this process fermentation. Beer, wine, and liquor have different amounts of alcohol in it affecting the drinker differently. Liquor is the alcohol with the highest percentage of alcohol and beer having the least percentage of


According to The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug dependence they stated that, studies have also shown that drinking alcohol moderately can be helpful to the coronary system. In general, for healthy people, one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men would be considered the maximum amount of alcohol consumption to be considered moderate use. This shows that drinking can be beneficial but if used in moderation only and is more likely to be abused.

Drinking alcohol is known to slow down the central nervous system. This affects the body’s concentration and coordination. Drinking a small portion of alcohol will cause the body to become relaxed and increase the person’s confidence. This is hazardous because when this occurs the chances of inflicting an injury is considerably higher. After drinking excessively the effects may be unconsciousness or even death because of the slowing of the nervous system.

Young adults are the most prone to inflict injuries such as: automobile accidents, violence, falls, overdoes, and accidental deaths. This shows that college students are more likely to drink more alcohol in a short period of time having a higher chance of being in an accident. Drinking excessively at an early age can also affect the brain also. The result of drinking at an early age makes it difficult for a healthy brain to grow causing long term effects to the health.

Most college students don’t realize the long term effects of alcohol, but it’s very severe and will damage the body immensely. The start to having an unhealthy body is drinking so much that the liver becomes scarred. This is the first step to deteriorating the liver. There are also other organs affected by excessive drinking too like; the heart and brain. The liver is a very important organ in the body that supports it. There are more than one disease that can harm the liver such as; fatty liver, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. The earliest stage of liver disease is fatty liver which is developed when the liver is clogged with fat. This only happens because drinking causes the liver to be unable to transfer the fat but filter the alcohol. The result of this is the liver cells become swollen with water and fat. When this happens the body lacks nutrients and oxygen to the liver cells, this kills the cell which. When the liver has been scarred it becomes irreversible and will be a permanent part of the liver. When this occurs the blood that travels through the liver doesn’t properly filter the toxins. Not being able to filter the toxin as mentioned by the college drinking prevention, can lead to mental confusion, agitation, or tremors.

The heart is also a very sensitive organ that is affected by drinking also. The heart is such a small organ that when you drink you work the heart a lot harder than it’s necessary. This makes it possible for the person to have a heart attack or a stroke. Continuing with excessive drinking will lead other heart problems such as: cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, and sudden cardiac death. Alcohol also affects the stomach and the brain. The stomach can easily be damaged when students drink excessively, especially when the excess alcohol is left in the stomach to irritate the stomach lining. This leads to damage of the stomach lining and loss of nutrition to the body. The brain damage is only possible in young teens that drink. Drinking has only been known to affect the growth of the brain in adolescence but no evident long term effects are present.

Eating Disorder

Entering college is one of the few biggest steps for students. It is a world fill with tons of responsibilities and the developing of self independency throughout this new era. This self independency can be a student’s biggest fear, for in which many have never been away from their parents nor been away from home. Nevertheless, pressures are built up with trying to adapt to the college life and the need to succeed during the first year. Soon these pressures can turn into stress or even depression, which in this case are typical among students on campus [4] Stress and depression can lead to a change in eating habits. Weight issue will become a problem. Self-esteem can go down. With many, the only way to look good or lose weight is bulimia. It is commonly known that eating disorder occurs from these negative feelings. Or it just appears naturally through genetics. Many believe that it is the only solution to cope with their emotions because it helps comfort them throughout their troubles [5]. Eating Disorders has many multiples causes depending on the symptoms that can match to the category. All these types of symptoms falls under what can be detect as an eating disorder[6].

Anorexia nervosa

Starvation diet

Binge eating disorder

• Bulimia nervosa


Eating disorder not otherwise specified



• Rumination


Night eating syndrome

Eating disorder does not only target women but also men. Anyone can develop any symptoms at any time. Universities have help for students who build any sort of an eating disorder, studies shows that the disease is slowly becoming a public health threat. Even if students are afraid to admit that they qualify for these symptoms it is better to do it sooner before anything major happens.

Weight Gain

The entrance of a new life means changing and adapting. Beginning freshmen enter a new phase that affects the way they eat. They are unaware of their nutrition and they only want something from what they see. High school is very different from what college is. Students transition from being in small classroom into big lecture rooms. The same goes for food, they transition from being served in cafeterias to buffet styles in college[7]. Dining centers excite new students because this is a new experience, therefore they grab more than what they should. It’s something new and it’s what they’re paying for.

Around campus are many network of vending machines fill with varieties of junk food. When students don’t have the time to eat they rely on vending machines as a part of their meal[8]. Illinois: Champaign, 2004. Eating junk food lacks nutrition and proteins. Eventually those calories in the products will build up into fats.

Universities are not finding ways to reduce junk food around campus nor providing healthier meals in dining centers. Instead, university administrators give away specific amount of dining dollars to students who lives on campus[9]. Although they would want to serve healthier food to their students, the price for them is just too expensive to spend[10].

Many experiments are being tested to see how much weight can gain in one year. So far study has show stresses in women are more likely to gain weight then non-stress women. Women with stress are more likely to consume alcohol and having the tendencies to go out more in order to eliminate their emotion. They also eat low in fiber and consume more caffeine. Nevertheless non-stress women have more vegetable in their body and they are cautious enough to stay away from high cholesterol food[11]. Although students do gain weight in college, they can always burn it off by exercising and eating right. Overall meaning limiting how much they eat out and the junk food they pact into their body system. Students can prevent the ‘freshman 15’ if only they put effort and hard work for a healthier body or image.


Exercising has a huge effect on your health as a young adult. It affects your mood, weight, sleep, and strengthens your heart and lungs. Students need to get plenty of sleep in order to have enough energy to make it to all their classes, study, hang out with friends and do whatever else comes to mind. By exercising you can keep concentrated on what work that needs to be done for school and at the end of the day when you crawl into bed you can dose off easily without tossing and turning for awhile.

Some college students really enjoy exercising because it is a way to slow them down and help them concentrate. Others exercise for social benefits related to physical attractiveness, ability, and condition. Some even go to the gym in a group to play basketball or tennis, while some go to meet new people.

Going to the gym is a great way to meet people. If you are interested in keeping in shape than you have at least one thing in common with other people at the gym. Not to mention it is much more motivating to exercise when someone else is doing it with you. On the other hand, while some people really enjoy working out with other people some like to go because it is their way to have some alone time and get away to reflect on their own life. Many people don’t go to the gym and don’t realize how much it could help them in their life. Not only to help keep them fit but also to meet new people or give themselves that chance to reflect.

Maybe if students were motivated enough to go to the gym everyday, or even 3-5 times a week, they could get into a routine and really like it. By making it part of their daily routine they would make sure to stay healthy during their college life and hopefully afterwards. Not to mention when you look good and feel good you are more confident. Confidence helps your whole self-image and when you feel good about yourself you come off to people differently making them want to be around you and you become a social butterfly.

Exercise can help in many ways if college students would be willing to give it a try. Eventually finding a little bit of time in their daily schedule to squeeze in exercise because they want to see the results or they really just like how it makes them feel afterwards. No matter the reason it is a great way to help yourself throughout your whole life.


  1. ^ Patrick, K (1988). "Student health. Medical care within institutions of higher education". JAMA 260 (22): 3301-5. PMID 3054192.
  2. ^ Current Population Survey, October 2003 (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on 2006-10-30.
  3. ^ (2002) in Turner HS: The History and Practice of College Health, Hurley JL, Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 0-8131-2257-0. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Wagner, Viqi. Eating Disorder. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007
  6. ^
  7. ^ Beals, Katherine A. Human Kinetics. Illinois: Champaign, 2004
  8. ^ Beals, Katherine A. Human Kinetics. Illinois: Champaign, 2004
  9. ^ Kelly, Katy. “The Freshmen 15”. U.S. World News and World Report.135.4 (2003): 54
  10. ^ Beals, Katherine A. Human Kinetics. Illinois: Champaign, 2004
  11. ^ Adam, Troy, and Rini, Angela.” Predicting 1-year change in body mass index among college students.” Journal of American College Health. 55.6 (2007): 361-366

1. Boyum, Dick. "Marijuana Use and College Students." Workplace Blues. 2003. 10 Oct. 2007 . 2. Pope, H.g., and Todd D. Yurgelun. "The Residual Cognitive Effects of Heavy Marijuana Use in College Students." The Journal of the American Medical Association 257 (1996): 1-2. Duluth,MN. 12 Oct. 2007 . 3. Witmer, Denise. "Parenting of Adolescents." About.Com. 9 Sept. 2006. 10 Oct. 2007 .

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "College_Health". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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