Many know the correlation in drinking and the college atmosphere (there’s a lot of partying that happens… true!). But, most cannot name specific data or consequences on a concrete level.
Personally, through seeing ambulances drive up to on campus housing for those lying outside on the ground passed out from alcohol poisoning after a sports event, brings a sense of need to doing this article.
Some campuses breed alcoholism and binge drinking, especially with the social (as well as academic atmosphere). But, what do the rates say for students? What are the reasons students give for their exurbanite drinking habits? These are some of the questions that I will try to answer throughout.
Lastly, I will examine some of the consequences of binge drinking habits and how they effect the 18-24 aged student population.
Nih.gov states that nearly “4 out of 5 college students drink alcohol” and that “about half of the college students who drink, also consume alcohol through binge drinking.”
This leads me to think of reasons why so many college students drink at such strong lengths. What could the reasons be?
When approaching students and asking them about these questions in accordance to drinking and coping, here are some common answers I found, backed up by statistical data:
- “YOLO”- You only live once. This had to be one of the biggest phrases I heard among the college-aged students 18-24 years old category. It’s the just “F” it attitude that comes up with the youth who are finally getting out from behind the controls and guidelines of their household or caretakers. The students are now finally able to live life as if it were going to be their last day on Earth. But, with binge drinking, could their next night of alcohol poisoning be their last?
Statistical data to back up the findings: “1,825 college students aged 18 and 24 die every year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries” [Nih.gov. “College Drinking”].
- “It helps me forget the torturous week I just had!”- The second biggest phrase leads to the ideal of letting go, and black out drinking. Many students who binge drink on a blackout level, are trying to forget the week of studying and hard work they just had put themselves through (or not through…). Is it from stress? Is it because they don’t know how else to cope with a 9-5-study habit? Well if the reason most students are in college is to remember the schoolwork they pay to learn. So, why does binge/blackout drinking play such a factor in being at college? Why is the workload being displaced onto and creating a substance abuse problem?
Statistical data to back up findings: Nih.gov states that 25% of college students report academic problems from drinking. They overall study less, do poorly on exams, papers, and receive lower grades.
- “Aren’t we just supposed to have fun while we’re young?”- This having fun only mentality provides problems for many reasons. When drinking to the point of binging or blacking out you lose inhibitions and control over yourself. Many students fall victim to crimes while being over intoxicated.
Statistical data to back up findings: Nih.gov states 500,000 students are unintentionally injured while under the influence. Also, 97,000 are the victims of sexual assault or date rape while intoxicated.
- “It helps me get by”- This mentality of using binge drinking or alcohol consumption to mediate stress is a big concern. This is known as self-medication and is an addiction all in its own. Many college students drink to relieve themselves in numerous ways. This can lead to mental health and other health problems.
Statistical data to back up findings: Nih.gov provides data that 1.2 to 1.5% of students tried to commit suicide in the past year because of drinking or drug use.
- “It makes me confident!”- Many students under the influence feel inflation in self-confidence that can be misconstrued by the substances they are abusing. Some who drink get into altercations because of their feelings over masculinity and dominance. This results in a high number of assaults and fighting because of binge drinking.
Statistical data to back up findings: Nih.gov says that there are 690,000 students between 18-24 whom are assaulted by another student under the influence.
This provides good insight into the reasons for drinking habits among college students aged 18-24, whom are some of the highest affected by the issue. Talk to your kids before they move away to college because the threats of alcohol and substance abuse are real. Educate this age group well; because once they go away to college, their new life journey begins. It’s crucial to catch the issue at hand before it happens, rather than getting a phone call from your loved one in consequence to binge drinking!
For more on the statistical analysis provided by “The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism” titled “College Drinking” click here: http://tinyurl.com/8vbjw6u
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