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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Statistical Snapshot of College Drinking by NIAAA

National Institutes of health
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Statistical Snapshot of College Drinking 
The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they are younger or older than the minimum legal drinking age and whether or not they choose to drink.

Alcohol Consumption and Binge Drinking are Common Among College Students (1)
    - Alcohol Consumption: About four in five of all college students drink, including nearly 60 percent             of students age 18 to 20.
- Binge Drinking: Approximately two of every five college students of all ages—more than 40 percent—have reported engaging in binge drinking at least once during the past 2 weeks. However, colleges vary widely in their binge drinking rates—from 1 percent to more than 70 percent (Wechsler et al., 1994, 1998, 2000b and NSDUH 2006).

Excessive Drinking in College Leads to Many Adverse Outcomes (2)
- Deaths: It is estimated that 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (about half among students under 21)
- Injuries: It is estimated that 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol each year (about half among students under 21)
- Assaults: It is estimated that more than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking each year (430,000 of them by a college student under 21)
- Sexual Abuse: It is estimated that more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape each year (about half among students under 21)
- Unsafe Sex: It is estimated that more than 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex as a result of their drinking and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex each year
- Academic Problems: It is estimated that about 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall
- Vandalism: About 11 percent of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol

For additional information about college drinking, go to NIAAA’s College Drinking Prevention Web site at: http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/.

Notes/Additional Resources
1 Johnston LD, O’Malley PM, Bachman JG, Schulenberg JE. Monitoring the Future National Survey Results on Drug Use, 1975–2007. Volume I: Secondary School Students (NIH Publication No. 08–6418A). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2008, p. 26.

2 Hingson R, Heeren T, Winter M, Wechsler H. Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18–24: Changes from 1998 to 2001. Annu Rev Public Health 26:259–279, 2005.


The data clearly defines the problems that alcohol is causing on college campuses. JMU is just one example of a national issue. However not all colleges have Springfest riots. JMU is not within the norm.  Therefore the steps that JMU will need to take to change the negative alcohol culture may need to be beyond the norm.  What works at other universities may not be enough for the JMU situation. 

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