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The Dangers of Heavy Drinking in College

teens suffering the consequences of heavy drinking in college

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]College kids have been drinking more alcohol than is safe for many decades. However, the problem of college kids binging on alcohol is more recent and is a predictor for a number of difficulties down the road. Binge drinking is defined as four or more drinks in one sitting for a woman and five or more drinks in one sitting for a man. Women are smaller and have slower metabolisms and therefore have a slightly lower threshold of danger. On average, two out of five college kids drink alcohol. Two out of five drink heavily (binge), and one out of five does not drink at all. Read on to learn about the dangers of heavy drinking in college and how to prevent it.

Binge Drinking In College Is A Serious Issue

Hollywood and the media often portray college drinking as a joke. It is not a joke, nor is it a normal rite of passage. Drinking, particularly binge drinking, is a serious and dangerous threat to the health and well-being of young adults. A panel composed of college administrators, researchers and college coeds examined the context of college drinking and the outcomes of college drinking. The panel concluded that while drinking does not occur at the same level on every college campus, those who do binge on alcohol face the same harmful consequences. Nearly half of college binge drinkers will sustain a significant injury or death.

The study found that binge drinking tends to peak in late adolescence and then tends to slow down somewhere in a person’s middle twenties. College students (19 to 24 years old) tend to drink less frequently than younger drinkers, but when they drink, they consume a greater quantity of alcohol. The study found that binge drinking tends to peak in late adolescence and then tends to slow down somewhere in a person’s middle twenties. College students (19 to 24 years old) tend to drink less frequently than younger drinkers, but when they drink, they consume a greater quantity.

Reasons Why Students Choose To Binge Drink

There are too many variables to give a definitive explanation for why college kids choose to drink or drink to excess. However, the panel came up with a list of common factors that affect why or why not a college student chooses to drink. They include:

  • Personality
  • Personal values
  • Peer and family influences
  • Family history – genetic influences
  • Expectations related to alcohol
  • How rampant drinking is on campus
  • Local access and marketing of alcohol to students
  • The presence or non-presence of school prohibitions on drinking and law enforcement

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Consequences of Heavy Drinking In College

Other factors that contribute to college drinking have to do with the transitional aspect of college life. Kids in college are suddenly exposed to life with less restriction and, at the same time, considerably more socialization. The lack of responsibility of marriage or family also makes it easier to choose to drink. The panel found that coeds who engaged in binge drinking faced a fairly predictable set of consequences, including:

  • Missed classes and missed assignments
  • A higher rate of college dropout
  • More problems with peers and friendships
  • Higher instances of risky sex

These consequences are bad enough, but they also represent some long-term effects of heavy drinking. Without a college diploma, job opportunities will be limited. Kids who engage in risky sex are vulnerable to lifelong effects such as an unplanned pregnancy or rape. These situations and their emotional consequences will remain far beyond the college years. Increased drinking is linked to increased aggression and increased risk for problems with the law. A criminal record due to alcohol-induced aggressiveness will stay with the student for the rest of their lives.

Finally, college kids who binge are more likely to be injured physically. It turns out that alcohol is implicated in one in three young adult visits to the emergency room with a serious injury.  Nearly half of all deadly car crashes in this age group are associated with drinking. It is important for college students to seek treatment for their binge drinking, to ensure it does not persist into later life. If you or your loved one is suffering from the dangers of heavy drinking, contact The Right Step at 17135283709. We are here to help.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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