The majority of those included in the increase are young adults who are not yet legally allowed to drink alcohol. Some of the reasons for the increase in binge drinking for people in the age group could be a need to relieve the stress of college life and to improve their mood. Along with the increase in binge drinking there is a higher risk for college students to experience the negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption.
New Data on College Drinking
The data from the study revealed that surprisingly drinking levels have remained relatively unchanged on college campuses since the 70s. However, in the years 1993 to 2001 episodes of binge drinking went up 56 percent among college students with an increase of 17 percent among all adults. Students in the age group of 18 to 20 went on drinking binges an average of 15 times in the year and the number of those who drink on more than 10 occasions per month has increased 25 percent. The level of binge drinking has increased overall but this age group represents the highest increase of all adults. Drinking-related deaths among students between and 18 and 24 have also increased steadily along with rising instances of binge drinking and young people admitting to driving while under the influence. The increase has caused concern about college students experiencing the kinds of risks associated with frequent binge drinking including traffic accidents, sexual assaults and developing an addiction.
Reasons for the Increase
The increase in binge drinking could be due to the culture surrounding alcohol for young college students. For young people, alcohol is cheap and easier to access in college even when they are under the legal drinking age. Unfortunately, many alcohol beverage makers actually target high school and college students since these are their biggest buying demographics. Students see alcohol binges as a way to relieve the stress of studying and working in college. The culture of binge drinking appears to have grown more important for students as excessive alcohol consumption continues to increase in frequency. Attending parties and having more than five drinks is now more common than ever even for those under the age of 21. Those involved in the study are hoping this growing drinking culture will change so that young people can avoid the more dangerous consequences of binge drinking.
Consequences of Binge Drinking
Binge episodes of drinking especially in younger age groups can lead to a greater likelihood of developing an alcohol dependency. Students are also more likely to drink and drive, ride as passengers with drunk drivers, be injured under the influence of alcohol or have unplanned and unprotected sex after drinking. Binge drinking can have serious consequences and students who drinking frequently and excessively are likely to hurt themselves or others while under the influence of alcohol. Binge drinking is culturally accepted especially for those in college and the media often glorifies the sort of drinking behavior that can actually cause danger to young students. To prevent the ongoing trend of binge drinking from growing, the culture of alcohol binges in college must change among the age group. Students must come to terms with risks and dangers of binging on alcohol and consider avoiding the consequences by drinking in moderation.