College Drinking Statistics
Sending a child off to college can be an unsettling experience for parents, as they send their children off to experience newfound independence on campus. A common concern among many parents is college student alcohol abuse. Learning statistics on college students’ drinking and the percentage of college students who binge drink can better equip parents to deal with their fears. These college drinking stats can also help educate students about the risks of college drinking so they can avoid potential problems.
College student alcohol abuse is a prevalent problem on many campuses around the country. While some students arrive at college with drinking habits already firmly established, others embark on their college career by adding alcohol abuse into the mix. What percentage of college students drink? A 2014 national survey estimated that nearly 60 percent of college students between the ages of 18 and 22 had consumed alcohol within the most recent month. Of these students, nearly two out of three engaged in binge drinking during this time period. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as the consumption of four drinks for women and five drinks for men within a two-hour period.
Although these statistics on college students’ drinking can be frightening, a number of strategies can help reduce these numbers. Many campuses focus their prevention efforts on students who tend to be at a higher risk of alcohol use, including first-year students, athletes, and students who are members of fraternities or sororities. Educating these students about the risks, behaviors, and consequences involved is one strategy. With heightened awareness of the risks, the community environment on a college campus can change to be more attuned to the harmful consequences that can arise from alcohol abuse. Many college campuses are also working to reduce the availability of alcohol, which has been found to be an effective way to reduce the percentage of college students who binge drink.
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