In a seminar I attended yesterday the speaker told about her experience following 15 students throughout their four years of college (each at a different secular college). The speaker said she was overwhelmed by the amount of alcohol consumed by college students; she also said that even the students who drank in High School were surprised by the amount of alcohol on campus when they arrived.
Many of us may think, “Whatever, I’m sure all these statistics are totally blown out of proportion. Kids will be kids, and anyway, MY kid is wiser than the others and wouldn’t get into all of that too deeply.” Here are a few things I’ve been reading recently about Alcohol use on campus.
Drunkorexia is a new term people are using for students who are replacing calories from food with calories from beer/alcohol. Combining an Eating Disorder with Alcohol Use is such a dangerous combination. Rather than eating and drinking and then risking gaining weight, some girls are choosing to cut out food so they can keep drinking. The Denver Post has an article on this recent trend: ‘Drunkorexia’ a Growing Trend for College Students.
Alcoholic Energy Drinks are also a growing trend among college partiers. Energy Drinks have been rapidly growing in popularity among teens for quite a while now (they’ve come a long way since Jolt and Mountain Dew were the best caffeine-fixes when I was a teenager), but now some companies are making pre-mixed Energy Drinks with Alcohol already in them. This provides students a dangerously quick way to get drunk, but the health risks are so immense that some colleges are banning them. But really, how will campus police enforce this, by raiding parties on the lookout for these drinks while turning a blind eye to all the underage drinking going on? Here’s the article: The Next Student Health Problem?
These two articles spurred me on to do some digging to find resources for parents and students to be better informed about the risks of binge drinking. This search led me to the NIAAA’s College Drinking Prevention Website, which is full of great resources.
Here are just a few statistics found on the above website, for more you can go here: A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences
- Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Assault: 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Sexual Abuse: 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (Hingson et al., 2009).
- Unsafe Sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (Hingson et al., 2002).
- Academic Problems: About 25 percent 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 (Engs et al., 1996; Presley et al., 1996a, 1996b; Wechsler et al., 2002).
- Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (Hingson et al., 2002), and 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 (Presley et al., 1998).