College Students And Binge Drinking

Drinking at college is often glorified in movies and encouraged through the “party culture” pervasive at many colleges and universities. In this kind of atmosphere, students are more likely to engage in unhealthy drinking activities, assuming it is a normal part of the college experience. What many students don’t realize is that excessive drinking can lead to severe health and safety risks as well as the possibility of addiction. If you or someone you care about is struggling with binge drinking, contact a treatment provider to discuss treatment options.

Binge Drinking

Excessive drinking over a short amount of time is known as binge drinking. In order to be considered a “binge,” the drinker’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must reach or exceed 0.08 grams per 100 grams of blood. This usually happens when a man consumes 5 or more drinks or a woman consumes 4 or more drinks over the course of about 2 hours.

Approximately 2 out of every 5 college students of all ages (more than 40 percent) reported binge drinking at least once in the 2 weeks prior.

- A survey by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

While some college students may claim they’re only trying to have a good time, patterns of excessive drinking can be dangerous and lead to devastating consequences.

Consequences Of Alcohol Abuse In College

The negative effects of excessive drinking are as serious as they are widespread. The following annual statistics apply to college students between the ages of 18 to 24, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism:

  • About 1,825 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
  • More than 690,000 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
  • More than 97,000 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
  • About 599,000 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.
  • About 25 percent report academic consequences of their drinking, including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers and receiving lower grades overall.
  • More than 150,000 develop an alcohol-related health problem.
  • Between 1.2 and 1.5 percent indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.
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Reasons For Binge Drinking

Some college students who binge drink are just looking for a way to meet people and fit in, while others try binge drinking as a way to stave off underlying problems. Many college students who are on their own for the first time struggle with loneliness as they adjust to a new life away from family and childhood friends. When these feelings deepen, depression can set in.

Binge drinking can be particularly damaging to college students struggling with loneliness and depression. Excessive drinking will only worsen these feelings, and can lead to cyclical drinking behavior.

Other reasons college students turn to alcohol include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Insecurity
  • Desire to fit in
  • Relationship trauma

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Get Help for A Drinking Problem

If you find yourself drinking more and more often than you mean to, you may have a binge drinking problem. If you are a college student struggling with alcohol abuse, you have many options available. Contact a treatment provider today.

Published:

Author

Jeffrey Juergens

Photo of Jeffrey Juergens
  • Jeffrey Juergens earned his Bachelor’s and Juris Doctor from the University of Florida. Jeffrey’s desire to help others led him to focus on economic and social development and policy making. After graduation, he decided to pursue his passion of writing and editing. Jeffrey’s mission is to educate and inform the public on addiction issues and help those in need of treatment find the best option for them.

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Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional:

Theresa Parisi

Photo of Theresa Parisi
  • Theresa Parisi received her bachelor’s degree in Addiction Science and Psychology from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minnesota in 2010. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager (CBHCM), and International Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADC) by the Florida Certification Board. Theresa is passionate about recovery having gone through addiction herself.

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Sources

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Recovery Unplugged – Harrison House of Northern Virginia

Annandale , VA

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Cove Forge Behavioral Health Center

Williamsburg , PA

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Bowling Green Brandywine

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New Castle , DE

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Banyan Treatment Centers – Delaware

Milford , DE

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Harmony Healing Center

Cherry Hill , NJ

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White Deer Run

Allenwood , PA

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Banyan Treatment Centers – Philadelphia

Philadelphia , PA

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Boca Recovery Center – New Jersey

Galloway , NJ

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Huntington Creek Recovery Center

Shickshinny , PA

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Clearbrook Treatment Centers

Laurel , PA

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Princeton Detox & Recovery Center

Monmouth Junction , NJ

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Pocono Mountain Recovery Center

Henryville , PA

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Mount Regis Center

Salem , VA

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Guardian IOP – New Brunswick

New Brunswick , NJ

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SOBA New Jersey

New Brunswick , NJ

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