College Binge Drinking: Not All Just Fun And Games

2016 words - 9 pages

College Binge Drinking: Not All Just Fun and Games

For those who go out and drink in college, it is all about the good times, right? What everyone does not think about is the potential danger that drinking can cause, especially to the astonishing amount of college students who drink heavily on a regular basis. Alcohol abuse is the leading cause of death among teens and young adults, and according to many professionals, the high rate of binge-drinking and its effects on college students and the school or university is the top social issue on campuses. Despite all the attention given to this issue, especially in the past few years, no noticeable improvement has been seen. Drinking has ...view middle of the document...

Furthermore, 23% of students report frequent binge drinking, characterized as engaging in binge drinking on three or more occasions during the past 2 weeks” (100). Many students also report that they often just drink “to get drunk.” According to a recent USA Today article, the number of those who claim this reasoning for drinking excessively has climbed to nearly 50% as of 2001 (Marklein).

Studies have proven that although almost half of all students attending are binge drinkers, more in depth research found that certain people are more likely to drink heavily than others. For example, a higher rate of binge drinking can be seen in White, male, and younger students on campus, while the rates for African American, Asian, female, and older students are somewhat lower (Wechsler, PhD and Kuo 1929). Also, most of the alcohol problems on campus often occur within sororities and fraternities, or in dorms that are made up of only freshman because this is where the highest concentrations of binge drinkers can be found (Weitzman 57). High rates of binge drinkers exist also among athletes and sports fans, and in residences with multiple roommates. It has been found that students with ties to jobs, volunteer work, a strong religious community, and family are associated with a decreased risk of heavy drinking (57).

When examining a person’s tendency to drink in college, it is also important to look at that person’s drinking habits while they were in high school. A study of college students’ drinking done by Wechsler and colleagues showed that, often times, your drinking patterns from high school often run over into college. Dr. Allan Reifman, PhD, an associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Texas Tech University, reports in the Journal of American College Health that, “Sixty nine percent exhibited consistency between their high school and college drinking (47% not binge drinking in either high school or college and 22% binge drinking at both levels). The remaining respondents (32%) could be considered to have exhibited a change; 22% did not binge in high school but started to drink heavily in college, whereas 10% were binge drinkers in high school but not in college” (73). Leibsohn’s study of freshman students at Midwestern University showed even greater continuity; 86% showed the same pattern of getting or not getting drunk from high school to college. Leibsohn concluded that: “By the time students enter college, their drug and alcohol habits are well established” (73).

The final factor that often comes in to play with heavy episodic drinking in college students is a previous history of alcohol abuse back home. Young people come to campus with social demographic of family and personal drinking histories that influence their dinking in college. For example, “One out of every 10 college students reports growing up with a problem dinking parent, and, once in college, these young people either abstain from alcohol...

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