Binge Drinking

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Binge Drinking: The Social Norm of College Students

The life of a college student typically includes all-nighters at the library cramming for an exam while anxiously waiting to celebrate the completion of a test with drinking and partying. Celebrating the successes of acing a test or passing a chemistry course is a natural response of a college student. On the other hand, having the extreme attitude of “I must get wasted” in order to officially call it a celebration is widely accepted. The social problem of binge drinking has become one of the most predominant issues facing today’s college students. Universities throughout the United States are waking up to the problem of excessive drinking by students and attacking the issue head on. Binge drinking may be caused by many social factors and may ultimately lead to many health, behavioral, and safety consequences. By learning some of the causes and consequences at stake, one may come to realize that moderation, especially when related to alcohol, is key to prevent binge drinking.
Binge drinking is generally viewed as the consumption of alcoholic beverages with the intention of becoming intoxicated by heavy consumption of alcohol over a short period of time. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This high BAC typically occurs when men consume five or more drinks, and when women consume four or more drinks, in about two-hour period (College Drinking 51). About 75% of the alcohol consumed in the United States is in the form of binge drinking, but the highest prevalence of both binge drinking and heavy drinking was seen among young adults ages 18-25. This statistic explains why the college environment is ripe for drinking (Cremeens 152). Perceptions of drinking change when a student begins college. It becomes a social norm seen in movies, internet,



Cited: Cohen, Adam, and Greg Fulton. "Battle of the Binge." Time 150.10 (1997): 54. Academic Search Complete DeBerard, M. Scott, Glen I. Spielmans, and Deana C. Julka. "Predictors Of Academic Achievement and Retention Among College Freshmen: A Longitude Study." College Student Journal 38.1 (2004): 66-80. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 3 Apr. 2011. Dowdell, George W. College Drinking: Reframing Social Problem. Westport: Praeger, 2009. Wechsler Ph. D., Henry, Wuethrich, Bernice. Dying to Drink: Confronting Binge Drinking on College Campuses. Rodale, 2002.

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