According to the National Institutes of Health, 4 out of 5 college students admitted to drinking alcohol in some form occasionally. It was also found that 40% of college students admitted to ‘binge drinking’ at least once time within two weeks before taking their survey. For male students binge drinking consists of, on average, 5 alcoholic beverages consecutively and for females, 4 or more in a row. Students between the ages of 18 - 25 have been found to have the greatest prevalence of excessive drinking while the average peak for this behavior is 21.
Why Do College Students Drink?
The legal drinking age in the US is 21 years but that doesn’t seem to deter many of our American underage youth from experiencing their first taste of some alcoholic beverage. Many students see drinking to intoxication as some sort of ‘rite of passage’ or as a way to ‘fit in’ while many in the treatment community see alcohol as a ‘gateway drug’.
Every year, just before the holiday and new year’s break, college students are put through the stress of final exams and then released from their educational obligations for a few weeks to decompress and relax. During this break the incidents of excessive or ‘binge’ drinking rises significantly. Holiday and New Years parties as well as sorority and fraternity celebrations are the perfect venues for over-consumption of alcohol and other substances but studies show that alcohol remains the #1 choice for college students.
College students who attempt to become members of fraternities, sororities and athletic organizations or clubs can also encounter ‘Hazing’ during pledging. It has been reported that more than 50% of students who pledge these organizations become victims of hazing.
Alcohol Can Have Serious Risks
The National Institute of Health has reported, 25% of college students who drink suffer in their academic performance by missing classes, poor exam outcomes, failing to complete assignments, falling behind, and ultimately receiving lower grades. The National Institute of Health found that 1,825 college students between the age of 18-24 die each year due to alcohol related injuries.
Even More Serious Risks
- Unprotected Sex: 13% of college students have unprotected sex after a night of drinking.
- Assault: Every year, 690,000 students between the age of 18-24 are assaulted by another college student who was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the assault.
- Drunk Driving: Every year, more than 3.3 million college students between the age of 18-24 operate a vehicle while intoxicated.
- Other Injuries: Every year, about 599,000 college students sustain injuries related to alcohol use and abuse.
- Sexual Abuse: 97,000 college students each year become victims of alcohol-related sexual abuse or ‘date rape’.