Parties, alcohol, and freedom have long gone hand in hand with college - for as long as teenagers have been leaving mom and dad to begin their educations.
It isn't any wonder that college students make up one of the highest ranking demographic groups for alcohol abuse. Estimates reflect that just over 60 percent of college students have used alcohol in the last 30 days, and that as many as two-thirds of those students have taken part in binge drinking in the same period. That is a change from college students' drinking habits from the past.
While the use of alcohol has remained constant for the last few decades, instances of binge drinking have increased dramatically over that time frame, and that can carry some serious risks, reports NJ alcohol rehab center Summit Behavioral Health.
Binge drinking is defined as imbibing 5 or more consecutive drinks for men, and 4 or more consecutive drinks for women. It's an excessive amount of alcohol consumed in a short period of time. In other words, it's when someone is drinking with the intention of getting drunk. Binge drinking typically causes blood alcohol levels that significantly exceed the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08%.
College students often believe that they are just trying to have a good time with their friends, but patterns of binge drinking are subject to dangerous and sometimes devastating consequences.
The risks of binge drinking vary from the minor discomfort of a hangover to accidents and injuries to extremely serious consequences, including death. The National Institute of Health1 (NIH) reports that more than 1,800 college students die each year from alcohol-related injuries and accidents. That's a frightening number, and it doesn't include the instances where the consequences are not fatal.
Hazing and initiations have been around on college campuses for a long time. They are especially popular among the Greek communities (fraternities and sororities) and sports teams. But the nature of hazing is no longer like that of our grandfathers. It now often includes dangerous behaviors that are abusive and sometimes illegal. Alcohol is frequently involved in those behaviors. Over the last few decades the number of deaths due to hazing has continued to increase each year, and it is estimated that as many as 82% fatalities are alcohol-related.
There is help available for college students who have a problem with alcohol. Treatment options include detox, inpatient, outpatient, 12-step programs, and alcohol and drug addiction therapy. The good news is that college students can get and stay sober before they suffer many of the negative consequences that lifetime drinkers do.
SOURCE: Summit Behavioral Health