Binge Drinking

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December 05, 2011

Binge Drinking Among College Students and Consequences
Audience-(Student Fraternity and College Administrators)
Binge drinking is a problem that has continued to have a toll on the lives of college students despite efforts by the government and school administrators to curb the trend. Many studies have been conducted to reveal the facts behind binge drinking in colleges and campuses. It is clear that for the problem of binge drinking in colleges to be resolved, it must all start by understanding the factors that influence college students to engage in this behaviour and the impacts that binge drinking have had on the lives of college students. This is because students who do engage in binge drinking have their reasons to justify their behaviour but often have failed to recognize the magnitude of risks that they are exposed to by binge drinking. Among the government initiatives to reduce this problem has been to increase the national drinking age though this has not had much impact on the level of binge drinking among college students according to several studies. It is worth noting that many students have been indulging in binge drinking with the excuse that it is normal as per the culture in their colleges. There are other factors that influence college students to binge drink including environmental, social, developmental, and cognitive factors. Though most students who binge drink defend their behaviour by citing the positive side of binge drinking such as curbing stress and elevating self-confidence, the consequences are often costly and regrettable. This essay provides an argument on the factors that influence college students to indulge in binge drinking, including the various false beliefs about alcohol consumption. In addition, the essay will shed light on the consequences of binge drinking and show that contrary to the tendency of college students to glamorize binge drinking, it is a risky and costly endeavour. Binge drinking has been defined as heavy episodic alcohol consumption in which men end up taking five or more drinks in a sitting while women take four or more drinks in a sitting (Nelson and Wechsler 287). The prevalence of binge drinking on college campuses has remained high, posing serious health, academic, social, and legal implications. In order to understand binge drinking, it is worth mentioning that drinking is measured in terms of frequency or quantity. While quantity refers to how much, frequency is concerned with measuring how often consumption takes place. A drinking behaviour qualifies as binge drinking if large quantities of alcohol are consumed within a short time frame (Binge Drinking). By looking at the history and prevalence of binge drinking among college students, it leaves no doubt that changing drinking age over time has had little impact on the prevalence of drinking on college campuses. Beer drinking among college students is not a new phenomenon as tales dating back to 19th century are told of college students engaging in drinking. A survey conducted by Yale University researchers in 1949 gave an idea of the prevalence of drinking on college campuses. The survey found that 6% of women and 17% of men engaged in drinking more than once per week. In the 1960s and 70s the minimum drinking age in many states was set at 18 to agree with the requirement that those joining the military ought to be old enough to drink (Dietz 88). However, this action only paved way for increased drinking on college campuses given that now drinking was legal. The government had to act swiftly to arrest this trend and in 1984, the minimum drinking age was set at 21. Even then, the level of drinking remained almost the same as most college students had attained this age and thus regarded themselves as being entitled to drink (Krock). Drinking rates over the past 20 years have remained relatively at the same level and now it is estimated that 80-90% of college...
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