Alcoholism in College

Alcoholism in College

College drinking is extremely widespread: about four out of five college students drink alcohol. About half of college students who drink, do so by binge drinking. The first 6 weeks of freshman year is an especially vulnerable time for heavy drinking and alcohol-related consequences because of student expectations and social pressures at the start of the academic year.

College Drinking: Trending Toward Alcoholism in College Students?

A new study shows that 6% of college students meet criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence or alcoholism and 31% meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse. The study also found that more than two of every five students report at least one symptom of these conditions, putting them at increased risk of developing a true alcohol disorder.

More than 14,000 students at 119 4-year colleges were surveyed by researchers who then based their findings on these responses. Researches included questions that are based on criteria for the diagnosis of alcohol disorders as set forth by the American Psychiatric Association. Alcohol disorders include alcohol dependence, the most severe, to alcohol abuse, a less advanced, although still serious disorder.

Binge Drinking and Alcoholism in College

Binge drinkers (heavy episodic drinkers) and especially those who frequently binge drink, are at an increased risk of developing one of these alcohol disorders. Heavy episodic drinkers are defined as men who had five or more—or women who had four or more—drinks in a row at least once in a two week period before completing the survey questionnaire. The definition of a frequent heavy episodic drinker is someone who has consumed these amounts at least three times in the previous two weeks.

Further Findings of Alcoholism in College

Students who attend colleges with heavy drinking environments are more likely to be diagnosed with abuse or dependence. Male students are at greater risk than females. Nearly one in 10 college men under age 24 met a 12-month diagnosis of alcohol dependence compared to one in 20 college women under age 24.

Community Impact of Alcoholism in College

Each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities, and families.  And it’s clear that there is a relationship between alcohol and crime. The consequences of drinking include:

Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.

Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.

Academic Problems: About 25% of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.

Health Problems: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem.

Suicide Attempts: Between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.

Drunk Driving: Each year an estimated 3,360,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 drive under the influence of alcohol.

Prevention: Alcoholism in College

Research strongly suggests that prevention strategies geared towards particular groups, specifically individual students, the student body as a whole, the college itself and its surrounding community, can help reduce the frequency and quantity of college drinking.











If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Binge Drinking Claims Another Victim


Binge Drinking Claims Another Victim

Baylor University’s Sigma Chi fraternity is being sued in connection with a Texas teenager’s alleged binge drinking. Megan Helal, 19, attended a fraternity-sponsored party at a local bar and consumed 10-17 drinks in a 2-hour span. She was found unconscious and later died at the hospital. Helal’s parents are now suing the fraternity for negligence. The lawsuit alleges the party was reckless and irresponsible. It names several members of the fraternity, the fraternity’s national chapter, as well as the owner and employees at the bar where Helal was served liquor.

Megan Helal’s death is not uncommon among American college students. 44% of students attending 4-year colleges drink alcohol at the binge level or greater. Binge drinking is a pattern of excessive alcohol consumption. It is defined as consuming more than five drinks for men-and four drinks for women- in one sitting. Since 1993, the number of college students who binge drink and use drugs has remained largely the same, but the amount of drugs and alcohol consumed by college students has risen dramatically. The number of college students who meet the criteria for substance abuse and dependence is almost three times the national average.

The financial impact of binge drinking and blackouts is significant.  Binge drinking alcohol can cause memory loss similar to amnesia. These periods of alcohol-related amnesia are generally referred to as blackouts. A blackout — the inability to recall events without a full loss of consciousness — means sufferers can walk, talk, drive or have sex but can’t remember any of it — creating a greater risk for car crashes, other accidents, unwanted pregnancy and STDs. A recent study estimated that on a large college campus (40,000 students or more) blackout-associated emergency department visit costs would range from $469,000 to $546,000 per year.

So why do so many college students binge drink? It has to do with the fact that binge-drinking alcohol in college is socially acceptable, almost expected. Many college students binge drink as a result of peer pressure or social expectations. In pop-culture, college is portrayed as a non-stop party. When young people go off to college falsely thinking that “everybody” is drinking and bingeing, they are more likely to binge drink in order to conform.

So what’s the risk? Obviously, binge drinking risks overdose, especially when combined with other drugs. Also, many people report engaging in high-risk behavior while binge drinking and especially during a blackout. They drive while intoxicated, get into fights, or engage in unprotected sex. Blackouts are a strong predictor of alcohol related emergency room visits.

Further, recent studies have shown that the brain is still developing through age 25. Alcohol, particularly episodes of binge drinking, affects the part of the brain that handles impulse control and decision-making. Damage to the brain early can make it hard for young people to make healthy choices about acceptable alcohol use and impulse control later in life. This can lead to many difficulties, including a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction.

If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.

Hangover Story: College Student Falls Asleep in The Wrong Dorm Room

After a long hard night of drinking Jason, a student of Florida State, was ready for bed. It seemed to be like any other normal night of drinking. Go out to the bar, get smashed and come back to the dorms to rest up before class on Monday. Little did he know is when he got on the elevator he pressed the button for the fourth floor instead of the second. This was the catalyst to an interesting morning that was mixed with a massive headache, fatigue and dehydration otherwise known as a killer hangover.

 As Jason, took the elevator to what he thought was the second floor of the dorms he held himself up wanting nothing more than his bed. Soon the elevator doors opened and being as drunk as he was he didn’t even notice that not only was he not on the second floor but he was on the girl’s floor. “I thought it looked a little unfamiliar” Jason said “but I was so drunk I barely thought about it” He stumbled and staggered his way to the room he thought was his, opened the door and slowly climbed into bed. “The spins were seriously bad” Jason said, so he grabbed the trashcan and puked for a good five minutes into it and then “I just passed out.” Jason reports.

Next thing he knew he was being awoken by three very angry girls who were holding what looked to be like a backpack full of books covered in puke. They were yelling and it didn’t do much to help his headache. Reports say that the girls were “Screeching so loud you could hear them down the hall”. “It suddenly dawned on me”, says Jason. “I definitely wasn’t in my own dorm room and what I had thought was the trashcan was one of the girl’s backpacks.” With that Jason said he quickly grabbed his keys and ran out the door, hoping no one would know about the awful mistake he had made. As he made it back to his own dorm room he stopped by the bathroom only to catch his reflection in the mirror. “I had obviously been passed out longer than I thought, the girls had drawn all over my face and then I remembered I had fallen asleep with my shoes on!” Jason said while shaking his head.

Jason finally made it to his own bed where he then slept for another 12 hours until the hangover wore off. “I missed my Monday classes.” “It totally wasn’t worth it” Jason says. With that Jason did have this to say though, “If you are going to drink make sure you are somewhat coherent. You never know what it’s going to be like waking up after a long hard night of drinking. Seriously. I didn’t have to deal with just a hangover but also the back lash of an embarrassing night for the next three months, I think the girls even got some pictures”

Moral of this story: If you are planning on getting hammered make sure you know where you are or have someone with you. Also drink plenty of water and eat something!  This would have kept Jason somewhat coherent. This would have also helped with Jason’s headache, dehydration and vomiting. Sometimes hangovers are inevitable but they can be eased up a little. The best advice though is still to just not drink.





If you need help with your addiction give us a call now at 1-800-984-4003.