College life lends itself to rebellious behavior as students are living away from home for the first time without any adult supervision. Partying and drinking heavily are simply a part of the culture for students in college.
Unfortunately, this lifestyle can take its toll on young adults and college drinking along the behavior associated with it has escalated to dangerous levels in recent years. Heavy binge drinking can affect a college student's academic and social life and in some cases even lead to tragic consequences.
Although students have certain expectations about college and the drinking culture surrounding it, the reality of alcohol abuse can be darker than they realize. What might seem like fun debauchery can quickly turn into something more serious for college students.
Harmful Consequences of College Drinking
According to recent studies nearly half of all college students drink at heavy binge levels. The heavy alcohol consumption can take a more harmful toll with nearly one in three college students meeting the criteria for alcohol abuse.
It is not only the drinking itself that is problematic but the behavior that results from being intoxicated. Young people are more likely to engage in risk taking activities, drive drunk or drink to the point of losing control of their coordination. Every year, 1,700 U.S. college students die and 600,000 are injured while being intoxicated. Students that binge drink are 14 times more likely to drive impaired than those who do not.
Young adults in college are also much more likely to frequently binge drink and drive drunk than their peers who are not enrolled in college. It seems that the college culture of drinking influences students to drink more heavily than they otherwise would and engage in more dangerous behavior as well.
Binging Habits Escalating
Drinking has almost always been a part of the college culture but more recent trends show that students now are more likely to engage in extreme binge drinking that leaves them injured or in many cases dead. Shocking stories of alcohol poisoning and other accidents related to intoxication have people concerned about the way that drinking has escalated on many college campuses.
Students are drinking more dangerous combinations of alcohol and caffeinated energy drinks allowing them to stay up longer, feel less drunk and drink more which can have serious consequences. Young adults in college are also getting involved in more extreme drinking games in which they might 10 to 15, even 20 shots in a short period of time. The level of drinking and the amount of alcohol has increased to risky point as more students feel the ill effects of their wild consumption.
If students manage to avoid getting injured or harmed in anyway by their drinking, it could still affect their academic performance. Studies show that an estimate 160,000 freshman will drop out of school because of alcohol or drugs. Students who binge drink frequently often perform more poorly in school than their counterparts who drink less.
It is difficult to predict which college students will be able to avoid alcohol addiction in the future. Many students are able to eventually mature out of their heavy drinking habits, but a large number of them do not. Often the pressures of living in the adult "real" world can cause heavy drinkers to sustain their abusive patterns and eventually be burdened with an addiction.
As their alcohol abuse persists into adulthood they must deal with the negative health effects of drinking heavily over a long period of time. It is no secret that college students engage in binge drinking but the consequences of their party culture can have dangerous and lost lasting effects that young people might not anticipate.