The Problem of Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking in College-Age Students
Alcohol is the most misused and misunderstood drug in our society.
Although college-age students are under the legal age for drinking
alcohol, it is important to remember that alcohol is the most widely
used drug by this age group. (See survey results.)
One of the results of the misuse of alcohol in this age group is binge
drinking. Sure, we have all heard about “frat parties” and crazy
spring break trips and assume that these are just another part of the
college experience. Although part of the college experience, binge
drinking has been consistently associated with higher incidences of
unplanned sexual activity, sexual and physical assaults, date rape,
injuries, trouble with campus and local police, and alcohol-related
driving injuries and fatalities. For example, consider this account
from a college freshman:
“My friend had a drinking contest with her boyfriend. They each
had five shots of Wild Turkey, two beers, and then started a ‘power
hour’ or ‘century’ – one shot of beer per minute for 60 minutes.
My friend began falling down and looked ill. She laid down to go
to sleep and began throwing up for two hours straight. She rolled
over and almost choked on her vomit.”
This account from a college student is more common than you
may believe. Episodes such as this can be avoided through parents
helping their students as they attend college. Time and time again
we have heard some parents say, “There is just no use – they will do
what they want anyway and don’t care what we say.” This grossly
underestimates the influence that parents can have – YOU CAN
MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
Families are quite different from one another and we have written
this handbook to reach a wide audience. Consequently, there may
be some sections of the handbook that you can relate to better than
others. This is okay. Not all families are the same and we tried to
respect those differences.
By reading this handbook and talking with your son or daughter, you
have the opportunity to reduce the likelihood he or she will experience
the negative consequences associated with binge drinking.
A recent survey of Boise State students indicated that more than 69.3% reported consuming alcohol in the last three months.
NATIONAL SURVEYS SHOW:
- 9 out of 10 experiment with alcohol
- 7 out of 10 drink regularly, and
- 3 out of 10 will be problem drinkers
By the time males are 18 years old, 1 in 4 of them are considered to be binge-type heavy drinkers (they drink once a week or more and have five drinks at one time).