Drinking at College

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Harmful and underage college drinking are significant health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.”

In American society, drinking and college are almost unanimous. College drinking has been a ritual for decades and many people view it as a natural part of the whole college experience. Eighteen and nineteen-year-olds can come to college with established drinking habits from back home, and college can intensify them. Or, freshman who are not accustom to drinking can dive straight into heavy or binge drinking once they start college.

“According to a national survey, almost 60 percent of college students ages 8-22 drank alcohol in the past month, and almost 2 out of 3 of them engaged in binge drinking during that same timeframe,” reported the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Annual impact of college drinking:

  • Over 1,800 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are killed as a result of alcohol-related injuries. This includes drunk driving crashes.
  • About 696,000 students ages 18 to 24 are attacked by a fellow student who is under the influence of alcohol.
  • There are about 97,000 alcohol-related sexual assaults reported each year.
  • About 1 out of 4 college students missed classes, fell behind in class, did poorly on exams, or received lower grades because of drinking.

(Source: NIH)

What Influences College Drinking?

If you’re a parent of a high school or college-aged student, you probably know it’s not rocket science. Even if a freshman comes to college with experience drinking, there are aspects of being in college that promote drinking, such as the availability of alcohol, no parental supervision, and peer pressure. According to the NIH, “college students have higher binge-drinking rates and a higher incidence of driving under the influence of alcohol than their non-college peers.”

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