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> Parents > Binge Drinking

Binge Drinking

Binge drinking: consuming five or more drinks in a row at one sitting for boys and four or more in a row for girls (H Wechsler et.al., "Changes in Binge Drinking and Related Problems Among American College Students Between 1993 and 1997," Journal of American College Health, Vol. 47, 9/98, p. 57). 

43% of college students say they are binge drinkers and 21% say they binge frequently (Ibid.).

Fraternity and sorority members drink more and drink more frequently than their peers and accept as normal high levels of alcohol consumption and associated problems (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism {NIAAA}, Alcohol Alert No. 29, 7/95, p. 3).

As many as 360,000 of the nation's 12 million undergraduates will ultimately die from alcohol-related causes. This is more than the total number who will be awarded advanced degrees (L Eigan, Alcohol Practices, Policies and Potentials of American Colleges and Universities, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2/91).

Students who binge drink are more likely to damage property, have trouble with authorities, miss classes, have hangovers, and experience injuries than those who do not (NIAAA, op.cit., p. 2).

College students drink an estimated 4 billion cans of beer each year. And the total amount of alcohol consumed by them annually is 430 million gallons, which is enough for each college and university in the United States to fill an Olympic-size pool (Eigan, op.cit.).

Each year, college students spend $5.5 billion on alcohol (mostly beer). This is more than they spend on books, soda, coffee, juice and milk combined. On a typical campus, the average amount a student spends annually on alcohol is $466 (Eigan, op.cit).

80% of students who live on college campuses but who do not binge drink report that they have experienced at least one second-hand effect of binge drinking, such as being the victim of an assault or an unwanted sexual advance, having property vandalized, or having sleep or study interrupted (Wechsler, op. cit., pp. 63-64).

Binge drinking in high school, especially among men, is strongly predictive of binge drinking in college (NIAAA, op.cit., p. 2).
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