Binge Drinking on College Campuses

Last Updated: 14 Apr 2020
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Alcohol on American campuses has become a serious issue.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking among college students leads to about 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries and 600,000 assaults each year (Coin).

In 2000, the total number of alcohol related deaths on college campuses was nearly 5,600, while in 1979 the total was more than 2,500 (McClintock), and the number of students who reported that they had driven while intoxicated rose from 2.3 million to 2.8 million (Hingson 260).  This statistic includes all college students, ages 18-24.  That means some of the people involved in these incidents were underage.  1 out of every 4 students drinks at a binge level (Simons 24).

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This reflects the direction that the youth of America, as a whole, has taken.  Part of the reason for this is that many college students do not know about the harmful effects of alcohol.  Although college drinking, historically, has been viewed by many as a relatively innocent rite of passage, there is evidence that it is a rite that too often results in negative consequences for drinkers such as poor academic performance, public misconduct, and health problems.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more drinks for men, and for or more drinks for women (Jennison 660).  After putting these numbers in a blood alcohol estimator, the average male, about 165 lbs, would have a BAC of approximately .09.  This is legally intoxicated in all states.  These numbers were achieved using beer as the type of alcohol.  Had it been hard liquor, the number would have been higher.  At this level of intoxication, all motor skills and judgment are affected adversely, leading to bad decisions as well as the physical inability to handle oneself.

The negative short term affects of excessive drinking are numerous.  Impaired vision, judgment, and speech are among the first and most obvious symptoms of drunkenness.  Also, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and headaches are among the most common symptoms the next day, commonly referred to as a “hang over.”

The main problem with these short term affects is the impaired judgment and motor skills.  When people are drunk, they can get very emotional, and this often leads to physical altercations.  More than 600,000 students reported being assaulted by someone who was under the influence of alcohol and more than 500,000 reported being injured while intoxicated (Hingson 261).  It is a fact: people have trouble controlling both their words and their actions while they are drunk, and this often leads to injuring themselves or the people around them.

There are also many long term affects.  Liver disease, brain damage, and ulcers are the most common among the many effects that slowly tear away at the human body (Jennison 672).  It can also lead to impotence in men, birthing problems in women, added risk of breast cancer, and muscle deterioration (Hingson 268).  These are all very serious problems, and for the most part, most college students have no clue about the long term consequences of their binge drinking (Donahue 20).

Next, we must understand the reason students drink in college.  Much of the drinking occurs at parties and revolves around drinking games.  These are social games designed to bring different groups of people together, and the rules of participation ensure heavy drinking (Simons 24).  Various games include beer-pong, Beirut, F**k the dealer, asshole, and quarters, among others.

The general rules in these games ensure that both winners and losers will drink, with the losers drinking dangerous amounts.  Most people engage in these games as a way to meet new people, while some get involved just to drink.  Another reason many males start these games is to get girls involved.

They know that alcohol makes people make decisions they wouldn’t usually make and they hope this leads to the girls being easier.  It is a fact that alcohol loosens ones inhibitions, so many new friends can be met in one night at a party by a typically shy person if he/she decides to drink.  Also, many students are pressured into drinking by friends, but as they have never drank alcohol before, they do not know their limits, and this is often what leads to the biggest problems.

Many first time drinkers have wound up “passed out” somewhere due to involvement in drinking games (Simons 27).

Cite this Page

Binge Drinking on College Campuses. (2016, Jul 01). Retrieved from

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