What is Binge Drinking?

binge-drinkingWhat is binge drinking you may ask? Binge drinking is the excessive consumption of alcohol. This is typically the consumption of four or more drinks for women and five or more for men in a two hour period. Recent studies have shown that approximately one in six American adults have admitted to binge drinking about four times per month. This in itself is a staggering statistic when you weight the risks of excessive drinking. Yet, college drinking statistics, in particular, have proven to be the most shocking of all. More than one in nine college students (aged 18 to 22) have admitted to consuming an alcoholic beverage on any average day and often, it does not stop there. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has recently released a report regarding alcohol abuse trends on college campuses.

Binge Drinking Statistics Among College Students

  • Full-time college students drank on average of 4 drinks a day on the days on which they drank in the past month.
  • Students who consumed alcohol in the past month drank nearly 7 days per month.
  • About 5.5 million full-time college students (60.1% of this population) consumed alcohol in the past month, with 3.5 million (almost 40%) taking part in binge drinking and 1.2 million (over 13%) engaging in heavy, excessive alcohol use. This is alcohol abuse at a very dangerous level.
  • In addition to this, approximately 10% of full-time college students drank for the first time in the past year.

Old Habits Die Hard

It has been understood that college culture promotes not only drinking, but drinking to excess. Many people may grow out of this phase, however, others will not. So how can a college habit possibly impact your long-term future?

Studies have shown that college graduates drink nearly 20% more than those who have not attended college at some point in their lives. Graduates tend to congregate in environments where excessive drinking is still encouraged. Also high stress careers, such as in the law or medical fields, lead many to pick up a drink as well. Networking events, happy hour, and other social gatherings usually involve alcohol in some way, shape, or form.

Readjusting to a healthier lifestyle and controlling ones drinking habits can be difficult after spending years in an environment that promotes binge drinking. Integrating oneself into the real world does not happen all at once and many graduates may find themselves reliving the college experience for as long as they possibly can.

Make Positive Changes

It is important to have an awareness of how your habit can negatively impact all aspects of your life. Graduates must realize that seemingly acceptable college behavior does not directly translate to their futures. If you or a loved one may be combating alcohol abuse or addiction, do not hesitate to seek help. Your future is counting on it.


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