Binge Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning
Alcohol poisoning, a form of overdose that occurs when the body consumes too much alcohol at once, is such a serious risk factor on college campuses that it deserves special emphasis.
Unfortunately, overdrinking is a natural consequence of a culture that encourages students to drink as much as they can. As a result, friends and family should always be on the lookout and call 911 immediately if they spot these following symptoms of alcohol poisoning:
- Sudden loss of consciousness
- Low body temperature
- Slow or irregular breathing
- Blue-tinged or pale skin
Binge Drinking and Alcohol Dependence
Not all the major health risk for students who binge drink are physical. The routine, out of control drinking that occurs during binge drinking session is not too many steps removed from full on alcohol dependence.
Every individual will be affected by alcohol, so not every college student who binge drinks is also addicted to alcohol. However, parents and loved ones should not hesitate to take action if they notice one of these warning signs:
- Students regularly mixing alcohol with other drugs and medication
- Use of alcohol begins to demonstrate a measurable and negative impact on a student’s schoolwork
- Friends begin to express concern about how often a student is drinking and attending
- Students begin to drink alone
- Students are blacking out on a regular basis when they drink
- Binge drinking leads to an escalating pattern of unsafe behavior like drinking, drunk driving, and unprotected sex
What Are Colleges Doing About Binge Drinking?
For parents with students still in high school, the prospect of sending a child to college must seem more terrifying than ever. It is worth pointing out, however, that not all campuses are on equal footing when it comes to cracking down on student binge drinking.
Ways to Stop Binge Drinking on College Campuses
The following are a few schools that have active strategies in place to combat binge drinking, especially among underage students. It may be worth looking into programs like these when families begin to evaluate colleges during junior and senior year:
- Ohio State University and several other schools nationwide have instituted screening tests for students that help schools evaluate how big the binge drinking problem is on campus and catch potential alcohol addictions before they worsen
- Institutions like Michigan State University have begun to aggressively crackdown on activities like frat rushes and tailgates that common encourage binge drinking
- Some schools like Boston University have begun to provide comprehensive education about binge drinking and alcohol dependence with hopes of empowering students to make better decisions
- Brigham Young University and a short list of other major institutions have responded by operating as a dry campus, with no alcohol allowed whatsoever
Binge Drinking Statistics For Family and Friends
When students attend college, most of the social events that they will attend involve alcohol consumption. It’s only natural that the likelihood of a student developing a problem with alcohol will increase when they go to school.
It’s important for friends and family members to take this threat seriously. The latest statistics and facts about alcohol reveal just how serious the problem remains on college campuses today:
- The 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that 57% percent of full-time college students ages 18 to 22 drank alcohol in the past month
- 38% of students engaged in binge drinking over the past month
- 11% of students participated in multiple binge drinking incidents in the past month
- Another study performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) confirmed that most students under the age of 21 have tried binge drinking at least once
- Data gathered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) notes that binge drinking is responsible for 1,519 deaths among students aged 18 to 14 annually
- Over this period, there have been 696,000 recorded assaults by on students due to binge drinking
- Over thsi period, there have been 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape related to binge drinking
- According to a 2018 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, half of the nation’s binge drinkers are over the age of 35
- Binge drinking behaviors are twice as common among male students than female students
Seek Help for Binge Drinking Today
If your friend or family member is struggling with binge drinking in a college environment, help is available. The holistic alcohol rehab programs at Acceptance Recovery Center can help students get away from a toxic spiral of alcoholism and back on the path to academic success.
Contact us today to learn more about our programs
Dr. Greg Gale has been practicing and providing leadership in the field of psychiatry, substance use, and integrated care in the Phoenix metropolitan area for over 11 years. He joins us from his role as a national medical director overseeing behavioral health, substance use, and integrated care services for Humana Behavioral Health. Previously, he was CMO and VP of Clinical Services at Partners in Recovery, a not-for-profit behavioral health and substance use service organization, which operates five clinics throughout Maricopa County.
Read more about Dr. Greg Gale, MD