Does college drinking lead to alcoholism? The truth about alcoholism is that causes vary on a person-to-person basis. Many individuals who drink in college go on to lead healthy and productive lives. If someone with a tendency towards substance abuse enjoys drinking heavily in college, however, he or she might be more prone to alcoholism.
It is estimated that over 80 percent of college students drink alcohol in some capacity – this means, four out of every five students drinks. It is also estimated that half of the students that do drink engage in binge drinking (the consumption of an excessive amount of alcohol over a relatively short period of time).
Binge drinking is classified by the consumption of five or more alcoholic beverages within two hours (men), or four or more alcoholic drinks within two hours (women). If a student was to play two hours of beer pong, for example, that would qualify as a binge-drinking episode. In the college atmosphere, binge drinking is often made into a game.
College Drinking Has Lead to Many Deaths
Although college drinking is extremely normalized, and some view it as a ‘right of passage’, there are often dire consequences for those that do engage in heavy drinking on a regular basis. Sadly, it has been estimated that over 1,500 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die annually as a result of heavy drinking. These deaths can be attributed to car accidents, accidental poisonings, or a variety of other factors. Cases of assault are also far more common amongst students who have been drinking.
Around 700,000 college students are assaulted annually by a fellow student who is intoxicated. Additionally, close to 100,000 students report some variation of alcohol-related sexual assault or rape. According to a report issued by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, roughly 10 percent of college students could be diagnosed with an alcohol abuse disorder. It’s easy to say, “It isn’t a problem – everyone is doing it.” It’s easy to shake off warning signs of an alcohol abuse disorder and constantly compare it to others who may also be drinking heavily. But the truth is if you feel as though you may be struggling with alcoholism, it is never too soon to seek help.
Binge Drinking in College is Dangerous
Generally speaking, college is a time when most people experiment with alcohol. Of course, many teenagers will experiment with alcohol before going to college. They’ll sneak into their parent’s liquor cabinet, for example, and blackout on two shots of brandy. In college, the attitude surrounding drinking changes. It becomes less taboo and more expected. Many fraternities, sororities, and other social circles engage in pretty serious peer pressure, encouraging drinking and encouraging drinking to excess.
The highest risk for college students and binge drinking comes within the first six weeks of the year – during this period of time, many young men and women are pledging into fraternities and sororities and being asked to drink a lot during the ‘hazing’ period. There are also a lot of on-campus parties, seeing as classes are just starting and serious exam periods haven’t rolled around yet. While those who drink excessively might face some health issues down the road or suffer serious consequences in other areas of life, this does not mean that everyone who drinks in college will become an alcoholic.
Alcoholism Treatment With Recreate Life Counseling
Alcoholism depends heavily on whether or not you have a pre-existing propensity towards addiction. Not everyone who drinks regularly will become an alcoholic. However, those that are genetically predisposed or have underlying disorders that make them more susceptible definitely won’t benefit from drinking heavily in college. In many instances, it will only speed up the physical dependency.
There is also the potential that drinking heavily for an extended period of time will lead to dependency, even if there were no pre-existing, determinate factors. If you began drinking in college and have been unable to stop or slow down, or if you believe that you or someone close to you is grappling with an alcohol dependency disorder of any kind, please feel free to call Recreate Life Counseling today.