Ever since the days of “Animal House,” binge drinking has been a commonly accepted and often joked-about aspect of the American college experience. As home to some of the country’s most renowned colleges and universities, this is undoubtedly a significant problem in the state of Ohio and one that has many educators and parents rightfully concerned. Recent news stories in widely-read publications like Time are starting to shed light on what a problem excessive drinking and hazing have become in Ohio and beyond.
Consider some of the statistics related to binge drinking as well as ways that colleges, parents, educators, and the community can fight this problem and save lives.
What is Binge Drinking?
According to the NIAA and per the standards of Ohio State University, binge drinking is defined as more than four drinks a day and 14 drinks a week for men and three drinks a day or seven drinks a week for women. Effects of binge drinking include shaking, memory loss or “blacking out,” vomiting, anxiety, and depression and most seriously, alcohol poisoning and brain damage which both can be lethal. Occasionally, an episodic bout of binge drinking can lead to falls and fatal accidents including those caused by drunk driving.
According to a story earlier this year via Cleveland.com, overall binge drinking is declining among college students. This is, of course, good news as it is the first time the rate of alcohol abuse has decreased since 2014. However, alcohol-related hospitalizations and deaths are rising. From these statistics, it can be surmised that, while college students are drinking excessively with reduced frequency, when they do, they are going harder and pushing the boundary further.
Recent statistics on binge drinking state that nationwide:
- 1,825 college students die from alcohol-related accidents and injuries a year.
- 696,000 are physically assaulted by someone who has been drinking.
- 97,000 report an alcohol-involved rape or sexual assault.
Peer Pressure and Other Influences
For many young people, college is their first time being away from home for so long without parental supervision. With this comes an understandable desire to branch out, try new things, make friends, and fit in socially. Besides peer pressure and a social expectation that college enrollment automatically equals heavy drinking, one of the most significant factors in student binge drinking is the price and availability of alcohol nearby. For example, at the University of Dayton, there are dozens of liquor stores and restaurants with liquor licenses within walking distance of the campus. Recently, rules were relaxed to allow these businesses to offer free samples of their products as well.
How to Help
Are you a parent or guardian who is concerned about binge drinking on college campuses? Talk to your child about the dangers of alcohol misuse and offer a listening ear. If you suspect there is a problem, contact us today to learn about treatment options at Recovery Village Columbus and find the help you need to address the issue safely and responsibly.