College Drinking

Common Problems Associated with Heavy Alcohol Consumption on Campuses

While the fall of 2020 looks very different on college campuses across the United States, one major problem still exists: underage drinking. Excessive alcohol consumption and college life seems to have gone hand and hand since colleges were founded. Unfortunately, underage college drinking is a pervasive problem that can have serious problems for students.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has put out information regarding the harmful effects of college drinking. As noted by the NIAAA, nearly 55 percent of college students surveyed admitted to drinking within the past month and nearly 1/3 said that they had engaged in binge drinking. Binge drinking is defined for women as having 4 or more drinks over a 2-hour period and for men having 5 or more drinks during the same timeframe.

Heavy alcohol consumption can have significant consequences including an increased risk in academic problems, assaults, and injuries. Furthermore, the NIAAA notes that there are health risks associated with this kind of behavior including damage to the “liver and other organs.”

Tragically, over 1800 college students die each year from “alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.” The NIAAA shows that over 600,000 students each year report being assaulted by another student who had been drinking and an estimated 97,000 report “experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.”

College students who drink excessively are more likely to do poorly in school, missing classes, or receiving lower grades. Research shows that college binge drinkers who admitted drinking at least 3x per week were “5 times more likely to have missed a class.” Heavy drinking and binge drinking can also result in a higher potential for depression and involvement with the police.

As the fall semester gets underway it is important to remember that heavy alcohol consumption can have devastating consequences for college students. Campuses have begun to crack down on underage drinking resulting in more students being placed on academic probation or worse, expelled from school.