Binge Drinking in Adolescents and College Aged Students

October 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm 1 comment


Binge Drinking on College Campuses

  • According to a 1997 national study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, nearly half of all college students surveyed drank four or five drinks in one sitting within the previous 2 weeks.
  • Students who live in a fraternity or sorority house are the heaviest drinkers – 86 percent of fraternity residents and 80 percent of sorority residents report binge drinking.
  • In a recent study, 39 percent of college women binge drank within a 2-week period compared with 50 percent of college men.
  • Colleges with high binge drinking rates were also much more likely to attract students who were binge drinkers in high school.
  • In one multicampus survey, white non-Hispanic students reported the highest percentage of binge drinking in a 2-week period (43.8 percent), followed by Native American (40.6 percent), Hispanic (31.3 percent), Asian (22.7 percent), and black non-Hispanic (22.5 percent) students. This pattern of binge drinking differences among ethnic groups is also seen in high school students.

Consequences of Binge Drinking

Alcohol poisoning – a severe and potentially fatal physical reaction to an alcohol overdose – is the most serious consequence of binge drinking. When excessive amounts of alcohol are consumed, the brain is deprived of oxygen. The struggle to deal with an overdose of alcohol and lack of oxygen will eventually cause the brain to shut down the voluntary functions that regulate breathing and heart rate.

If a person is known to have consumed large quantities of alcohol in a short period of time, symptoms of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
  • Slow or irregular breathing (less than 8 breaths a minute or 10 or more seconds between breaths).

Secondary Effects of Binge Drinking

  • In schools with high binge drinking rates, 34 percent of non-binge drinkers reported being insulted or humiliated by binge drinkers; 13 percent reported being pushed, hit, or assaulted; 54 percent reported having to take care of a drunken student; 68 percent were interrupted while studying; and 26 percent of women experienced an unwanted sexual advance


** Frequent binge drinkers were eight times more likely than non-binge drinkers to miss a class, fall behind in schoolwork, get hurt or injured, and damage property.

** Nearly one out of every five teenagers (16 percent) has experienced “black out” spells where they could not remember what happened the previous evening because of heavy binge drinking.

** More than 60 percent of college men and almost 50 percent of college women who are frequent binge drinkers report that they drink and drive.

** Binge drinking during high school, especially among males, is strongly predictive of binge drinking in college.

** Binge drinking during college may be associated with mental health disorders such as compulsiveness, depression or anxiety, or early deviant behavior.

** In a national study, 91 percent of women and 78 percent of the men who were frequent binge drinkers considered themselves to be moderate or light drinkers.


Obviously binge drinking is becoming a growing trend.   Being a college student myself, I have some of my own suggestions:

#1.  Having the right friends.  I’m not saying don’t have friends who drink, I’m saying have friends who are smart with drinking if they drink.

#2.  Put school first.  Yes college is a great time to go out and have some fun, but remember to put your priorities in an order that will be beneficial for you!

#3.  Be smart with how much you drink.


Entry filed under: college aged drinking.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. codyman777  |  October 31, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Most of the people that i knew in high school would go out and drink. It was helpful to me to have friends that either did not drink at all, or only drank very little. Always surround yourself with good people who share your values.


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