Study shows dangerous drinking behavior on the rise among college students
A new study from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that binge drinking, drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths among college students rose over the past decade. Among the troubling findings:
- Alcohol-related deaths among 18- to 24-year-old students increased from 1,440 in 1998 to 1,825 in 2005.
- The percentage of students who admitted to recently engaging in “episodic drinking” (also known as binge drinking) rose from 42 percent in 1998 to 45 percent in 2005.
- The percentage of students who admitted to driving drunk in the past year rose from 26.5 percent in 1998 to 29 percent in 2005.
- The problem behaviors—binge drinking, drunk driving and alcohol-related deaths—rose among 21- to 24-year-old students but not among 18- to 20-year-olds.
According to lead researcher Ralph Higson, the findings are particularly troubling since the trend towards more dangerous drinking behavior has persisted despite improvements in education about alcohol abuse.
“”The fact that we’re not making progress is very concerning,” [Higson said] … “The irony is that during this same time period, our knowledge of what works as far as intervention in this age group has increased. That knowledge isn’t yet being put into place.”