Alcohol Abuse on Campus

Alcohol Abuse on Campus

Alcohol Abuse on Campus

Four out of every five college students drink alcohol to some magnitude. Alcohol is the most popular substance of abuse among young Americans – more popular than illicit drugs or tobacco.

There are several factors that make student drinking alcohol dangerous, but the two most prevalent risk drinking activities are: underage drinking and binge drinking

And, when an underage student begins to binge drink – the ramifications can be severe, and even deadly.

Underage Drinking

In a recent study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 60 percent of teens, by age 18, have had at least 1 drink

Underage drinking, as well with any type of alcohol abuse, is dangerous and can result in significant health issues in a student’s life on campus and throughout the rest of their life.

It poses significant risks to the following if a student below the age of 21 abuses alcohol:

Underage drinking
  • Injury or Death - under the age of 21, 188,000 individuals are injured per year and 4,358 individuals die per year from alcohol-related incidents.
  • Impairment of Judgement – drinking alcohol can lead to students participating in drinking and driving, violent behavior and sexual assault.
  • Alcoholism and Drug Use – students who abuse alcohol now can lay a foundation for prolonged alcoholism and experimental drug use.
  • Brain Development – most students’ brains are developing well into their twenties; alcohol use can slow or hinder development and lead to life-long cognitive issues.

Speaking with campus staff about underage drinking on your campus and how to address it is the first step – it’s been helpful for some universities to invite students across campus to weigh in on the issue of underage drinking and how to confront it.

Whatever method chosen to alleviate rates of underage drinking on your campus, remember that campuses have the ability to guide students down the correct paths and should have resources available to help students who suffer from the effects of underage drinking.

"Part of the problem is young people not understanding they are dealing with a toxic substance - Alcohol can kill you. People do things they don't even know they did. And that can range from embarrassing to toxic."

George Koob / Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Binge Drinking

An activity that has made its name known nation-wide on campuses is binge drinking, or high-risk drinking, which is a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL.

In a student’s mind, it may be seen as a way to fit in or to “be cool,” but it can lead to some pretty frightening consequences.

Binge Drinking Statistic: It takes 4 drinks for women and 5 for men under 2 hours to be considered binge drinking

Here are 5 quick and helpful facts about alcohol abuse to think about while assessing binge drinking on your campus:

  • 60% of college students drank alcohol in the past month and 66% of those admit to binge drinking.
  • 696,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking each year.
  • 97,000 students reported experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault each year.
  • 25% of students report academic consequences from drinking each year.

As the statistics show, binge drinking is a wide spread health problem on college campuses and it can affect more than just the student partaking in the alcohol use.

With that being said, it’s wise to speak with appropriate campus staff to understand the drinking culture on your campus and what actions you can take to reduce the rates of binge drinking.

It’s time to look at ideas to reduce the rate of binge drinking on your campus and to promote safe, responsible drinking to students, so if they do decide to partake in alcohol use that they can make the right decisions.

10 Essential Guidelines to Promote Safe & Responsible Drinking

  • Carry out training or awareness programs for students on alcohol and its detrimental effects.
  • Promote responsible, safe drinking to students throughout campus knowledge centers or through campus social media.
  • Host alcohol-free events on campus that are appealing to students.
  • Consistently enforce federal and state alcohol laws on campus.
  • Implement a Medical Amnesty policy on your campus.
  • Provide students with resources and treatment programs to help those who are struggling with alcohol abuse.
  • Review and update campus policies, including disciplinary sanctions, regarding alcohol use.
  • Provide a safe ride-service for students on campus.
  • Limit the ability to purchase alcohol on campus-owned property.
  • Include students in campus discussions to deter alcohol abuse – specifically binge-drinking, they often know more about the issue than administrators.

How the SafeColleges Online Training System Can Help

SafeColleges Training

The SafeColleges Training System includes an Alcohol and Other Drugs course that will give students the realities and misconceptions of alcohol and drug use on campus as well as successful strategies for handling dangerous situations related to these substances. 

For more information on Alcohol and Other Drugs course or the SafeColleges Online Training System, please contact us at 1.800.434.0154 or info@safecolleges.com. Free trials are available.