College Drinking Rates Worse Than We Thought

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College Drinking Rates Worse Than We Thought

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, alcohol is the most commonly abused drug among American youth – it surpasses even smoking. And in fact, 80% of college students drink alcoholic beverages, and about half of those admit to binge drinking.

Recently, Project Know conducted a survey of more than 1,400 college students aged 18-23, in effort to more closely examine their college drinking habits. The findings were disturbing, and I will refrain from commentary as the data pretty much speaks for itself.

Overall Consumption

Nearly 90% of students surveyed admitted to drinking alcohol at some point while attending college.

Drinking and Driving

Nearly 40% said they had engaged in drinking and driving, and 26.7% said they had driven while completely drunk. Forty-two percent said they had rode in a car with a driver who was drunk.

Other Negative Effects

  • Almost 46% experienced blackouts from drinking.
  • Fifty-six percent stated they had done something under the influence that they regretted.
  • More than 60% said they had had some sort of sexual activity, often without using a contraceptive.
  • Nearly 4 in 5 said they had been hung over.
  • Eleven percent admitted to wetting their beds due to alcohol consumption.
  • More than one-third missed classes due to alcohol.

Health Hazards

  • Over 70% have thrown up from drinking alcohol.
  • Nearly half knew students who were hospitalized due to alcohol abuse.
  • About 30% were injured in some way while under the influence.
  • Nearly 1 in 10 knew someone who had died due to alcohol abuse.

Fraternities Drink Even More

  • Ninety-four percent of frat members admitted to drinking alcohol vs. 88% of their non-frat counterparts.
  • Sixty-four percent drank more than two drinks on a weekday, vs. 49% non-frat.
  • Frat members drank, on average, three days a week.

More Women Drink Than Men

Slightly more women reported drinking in college than men, 91% vs. 88% of men. Also, more women report sexual activity while under the influence, 61% vs. 60% for men.

Midwestern Students Drink The Most

  • Midwestern college students reported the most drinking, at 92%. They were closely following by the South (90%), Northeast (89%) and West (86%.)
  • The Northeast had more college student reportedly knowing a peer who had been hospitalized for alcohol abuse (nearly 54%). The region was followed by the Midwest (49%), the South (43%) and the West (38%.)
  • The South had the most students who knew someone their age who has died from alcohol abuse – nearly 11%. Followed closely was the Midwest (nearly 10%), the Northeast (8%), and the West (just under 8%.)

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

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