Young Adults and Alcohol
  • A warning for women of childbearing age.  The CDC states that women ages 15-44 should avoid alcohol unless they are using birth control. Alcohol can harm a developing baby before a woman knows she is pregnant.  The CDC estimates more than 3 million women are at risk of exposing a developing fetus to alcohol. This warning is to reduce the cases of fetal alcohol syndrome.    (CBS Morning News, USA Today, February 3, 2016)

  • Dozens of WSU students have suffered severe injuries in falls, and most involved excessive alcohol use.  Sacred Heart Medical Center sees two to four students at the beginning of every school year from WSU. 

    Excessive underage drinking is a serious problem on many university campuses.  "In my experience as a trauma surgeon, when a sober person falls from a height, they either break their legs or their wrists when they put their hands out to protect themselves.  When an intoxicated person falls, they tend to land head-first, often resulting in a devastating brain injury, which can lead to a persistent vegetative state or death. 

    "I believe (evaluating fall risks) is focusing on the distraction (the height of the railing or size and depth of the windowsill) and not on the real problem, which is excessive alcohol use.  I challenge the WSU administration to put a more serious effort into changing the culture of excessive drinking on campus to prevent these tragedies from occurring with such frequency....I only wish that the energy they are putting into fixing the windows on campus was redirected at education about excessive alcohol consumption and its significant dangers."  (Source:  "Drinking at WSU is key problem, not windows," by Dr. Timothy Bax, the trauma medical director at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, The Spokesman Review, September 24, 2017)

  • Most incidents of rape among college students involve the consumption of alcohol or drugs.   Drugs and alcohol impede judgment and the ability to react and think clearly.  In addition, date rape drugs are dropped into alcohol.  Source:  “Protecting Students From Sexual Assault, The U.S. Department of Justice, 2016 study released by the Bureau of Justice Statistics); Zinzow, et al. (2011), Krebs, et al. (2016), and Fisher, B. S., Daigle, L. E., Cullen, F. T., & Turner, M. G. (2003). “Reporting sexual victimization to the police and others: Results from a national-level study of college women [external link].” Criminal Justice and Behavior, 30(1), 6-38.

  • There were 60+ fraternity-related deaths related to hazing and heavy or binge drinking from 2005 - 2013.  Freshmen account for approximately 40% of those deaths.  (source:  Bloomberg)

  About 1,800 students on college campuses died from alcohol poisoning in 2016. 

    This is bigger than just fraternities.

“…across the country, fraternity chapters, alumni boards, and national fraternity organizations, through the self governance model….have failed to bring an end to excessive drinking, hazing, sexual assault…”   (The Pennsylvania State University) 


“Here is the reality of what we face on college campuses:  You have the drinking law, and then you have the reality of the students.  We are caught in a very challenging situation to ensure safety, to have honest dialogue about where they are, and enforce policies….We need to ban the behavior and ban those students who get involved in that, including the chapters.”  (Judson Horras, NIC President)   (Source:  Frat Crackdown, “Interfraternity CEO on hazing:  We encourage criminal charges,” CBS News, May 24 2017)

  • Alcohol problems are highest among young adults ages 18-29.  People who start drinking at an early age have a greater chance of developing alcohol problems at some point in their lives.
  • Binge Drinking.  Nearly half of America’s 5.4 million full-time college students binge drink (1). Young people are particularly at risk of death from alcohol overdose.
  • DUI-related Deaths.  The number of drunk drivers in Washington far exceeds the national average.  Alcohol is the most widely abused and deadly drug contributing to fatal accidents.  Nationwide, 20,000 people die every year as a result of alcohol caused accidents; and in Washington, an average of 256 people are killed each year. 

  • Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) in Washington State is a class C felony if the offender has 4 or more prior DUI convictions within 10 years, or has ever been convicted of vehicular homicide or vehicular assault while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  (Sources:  National Center on Drug Addiction and Substance Abuse;
  • College Students and Alcohol.  Drinking among college and high school students is at epidemic levels.  The National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Task Force on College Drinking reported the following 2009 statistics:    
    • 3,360,000 students drove under the influence of alcohol.  
    • 1,825 college students between 18 and 24 years old died from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.
    • 599,000 students were unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.  
    • 696,000 students were assaulted by another student who was drinking.
    • 97,000 students were victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
What You Can Do
  • Start an Operation Red Nose in Spokane.  A New York City cab company tried a new experiment shortly before Christmas 2013 to keep people safer over the holidays.  Some 1800 people, including 500 on New Years Eve, who were too drunk to drive home, used a service that is changing the rules.  Cabbies took drunk drivers home in their own car.  Both the passenger and their car got a lift home, and lives were saved.

    "The biggest fear that people have
    is leaving their car behind, because they don’t know if they are going to find it the next day.  That is why they get into their car and drive away, ” said Fernando Mateo, NY State Federation of Taxi Drivers.

    Passengers pay a fee to be transported home
    , and a larger fee if a second person has to drive their car home.  The fee is a small price to pay for safety, peace of mind, and the aggravation and money saved if you get stopped and go to jail.  Mateo said this program may be expanded throughout the year.   (Operation Red Nose, CBS This Morning, January 2, 2014) 
  • There are 4 ways a man's health affects his offspring.  A fathers lifestyle may have far more effect on a child's health than doctors originally believed. Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center found, that there are 4 ways a man's health affects his offspring:
1)  Kids of older fathers (40 and older) have higher rates of schizophrenia, autism, and birth defects.
2)  Your dad's diet impacts how you react to food.
3)  A dad who smokes may cause DNA damage.
4)  An alcoholic father raises the risk of fetal alcohol syndrome and developmental difficulties, as three quarters of babies with fetal alcohol problems had fathers who were alcoholics. 

Fertility specialists say men are not immune to reproductive aging.  A man's lifestyle, age, and genetics can play just as significant a role in the health of a baby as the mother's health.  ("Dads lifestyle linked to kids' health issues," and "Influence of paternal preconception exposures on their offspring: through epigenetics to phenotype," American Journal of Stem Cells, April 2016)
Local Organizations
Additional Resources

Abstemious Outpatient Clinic Inc.  

(509) 326-7721 

Alcoholics Anonymous
AA Meetings
(509) 624-1442

American Behavioral Health Systems Drug Addiction Treatment  
(509) 325-6800

Breakthrough Recovery Group
Valley Redwood Plaza
11711 E. Sprague, Ste D4
Spokane Valley, WA   99206
(509) 927-6838
Outpatient drug and alcohol treatment services and programs.  We incorporate the latest research in neurology and pharmacology, offering an innovative, evidence-based, patient centered substance and mental health treatment experience.

Colonial Clinic Drug Addiction Treatment  
(509) 327-9831 

Community Detox Services of Spokane
312 W. 8th Ave.
(509) 477-4650
Daybreak of Spokane Alcohol Rehab Center
(509) 624-3227 

Drug Rehab
Addiction to drugs, alcohol and prescription drugs.  Their mission is to equip patients and families with the best information, resources and tools to overcome addition and lead a lifelong recovery. 

First Call for Help
(509) 838-4428

Excelsior Youth Centers Inc.
(509) 328-7041 

Gateway Counseling Services Alcohol Treatment Center
(509) 532-8855

Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council
(509) 922-8383 

Healing Lodge of The Seven Nations Alcohol Rehab Center
(509) 533-6910 

Isabella House Drug Abuse Treatment
(509) 243-6231

Lakeside Recovery Centers Drug Rehab Center 
(a for-profit business)
(509) 328-5234

Native Project
(509) 325-5502 

New Directions Outpatient Clinic Drug Abuse Treatment
(509) 838-0304

New Horizon Counseling Services Drug Treatment Program
(509) 838-6092

New Vision @ Holy Family Hospital
(509) 252-6488

Spokane Addiction Recovery Centers Alcohol Treatment Center
(509) 624-3251

Spokane Heights Detox
(for-profit business)
524 E. Francis
(509) 919-4150
Spokane Heights Detox seeks to bridge the gap between the need for physiological and psychological aspects of detoxification from addictive substances and alcohol. Their method encompasses an individualized approach to the beginning stages of the recovery process. Medical and therapeutic professionals work together with each individual in order to motivate lasting recovery opportunities and maximize treatment effectiveness.

Spokane Regional Health District Drug Treatment Program
(509) 324-1420 

Stepps YFA Connections Drug Addiction Treatment
(509) 532-2000

Sun Ray Court Drug Addiction Treatment, Adult Male Branch
(509) 456-5465

Veterans Affairs Medical Center Substance Abuse Treatment Program
(509) 434-7000

Spokane Drug Rehab Treatment Centers  

National Resources: 

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  
A national clearing house for alcohol and drug information.  The world’s largest source for free information, programs, and projects on substance abuse and addiction treatments. 

National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism provides help to stop drinking.