Alcohol Abuse and College Students-Statistics and Overview
Alcohol abuse and college students is a growing problem. Studies have shown that the college years are the most popular time to experiment with alcohol. About four out of every five college students drink alcohol to some degree.
About 50% of those students are believed to participate in binge drinking. Binge drinking is consuming too much alcohol at once. Many young adults admit they already consumed alcohol before they ever went to college, so they were drinking during high school.
College students have access to alcohol at social activities and sporting events, making it readily available. One drink often leads to two, three, or even more. Drinking, again and again, will build up a tolerance, meaning it will require more alcohol to get the same high. When a college student drinks at many events, he or she will start building up a tolerance.
College Students and Alcohol Use Disorders
Drinking heavily frequently significantly increases the odds of suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder can lead to serious emotional and physical damages.
While some side effects are just temporary, others can last for the long-term, even for years. It is crucial to seek help as soon as you think there might be a drinking problem.
Treating an Alcohol Use Disorder In College Students
By getting treatment right away through an alcohol treatment program, you can reduce the side effects and improve the chances of a full recovery with minimal lasting effects. College students who have been abusing alcohol will need medical help to stop using alcohol and to ensure their physical health hasn’t been affected by the alcohol consumption.
Binge Drinking and College Students
Binge drinking is done by a large percentage of college students. It is when someone consumes a large amount of alcohol in a very short amount of time. Binge drinking involves drinking five or more alcoholic beverages within two hours for men.
For women, it involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours. For college students, the highest risk period for binge drinking is at the beginning of their freshman year during the first six weeks. Soon after the first few days of classes, many college students give into peer pressure.
Sometimes alcohol consumption is referred to as part of the college experience. But, it has been taken to the extremes, and more students are suffering mentally and physically from the alcohol abuse.
Students want to fit in with the crowd and become popular, so they don’t think about the consequences and drink excessively. College students used to consume mostly beer. But during the last 20 years or so, they have started consuming more liquor.
The Negative Effects of Binge Drinking in College Students
Many young adults are drinking to get drunk rather than drinking just to socialize. It takes fewer drinks to feel the effects when liquor is consumed because it has higher alcohol percentages by volume. Some students have the goal of drinking as much as possible or drinking until they pass out or blackout. Dangerous outcomes could result, including alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.
Alcohol poisoning results from consuming toxic levels of alcohol during a short time period. Their blood alcohol content is so high, it is toxic. It leads to abnormal breathing, vomiting, and confusion.
The Consequences of Heavy Drinking for College Students
Almost every college student, even those who never drank alcohol, has been affected by alcohol use in one way or another during their college career. As an example, a student might see a friend’s drinking pattern worsen and take over.
Heavy drinking doesn’t just affect the individual, it might destroy relationships, educational goals, careers, and one’s health. When someone drinks too much, alcohol-related issues begin. It puts the health of the person drinking and the health of others at risk.
There are several consequences for heavy drinking during college:
- Greater risk of accidental injury
- Poor classroom performance
- Increased risk of being a victim of assault
- Being charged with crimes
- Developing health problems
Lasting Health Problems from College Alcohol Abuse
About 150,000 college students get an alcohol-related health issue annually. Problems might include an inflamed pancreas, high blood pressure, or liver damage. Those who drink frequently are much more likely to have alcohol dependency later in life.
While alcoholism usually results from years of alcohol consumption, it can happen because of periods of frequent and heavy drinking during college years. Bad drinking might lead to other problems later in life, such as alcoholism.
If you are suffering from drinking problems or suspect a loved one who is in college is abusing alcohol, seek help from a medical professional or a qualified alcohol treatment center. The earlier you seek help, the less likely you are to suffer lasting effects.