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College Alcohol Abuse

An entire new crop of freshmen will arrive on campus at U.S. colleges this fall, many away from home for the first time, to join the free beer party.

They will find a sub-culture on and around campus that will encourage all-out partying and binge drinking and where they will find, even if they are underaged, alcoholic beverages cheap if not free.

Many will get hurt trying to keep up. Some will fall out of a window, or over a balcony, get killed in a car wreck, or simply die from acute alcohol poisoning.

College Alcohol Abuse Awareness

College alcohol abuse is a continuing problem, where nearly 73% of the students drink at least occasionally. Colleges are striking back by instituting alcohol awareness programs, some requiring completion of an online course before students even arrive on campus. But without parental buy-in, these college drinking awareness efforts are fighting a losing battle against college alcohol abuse.

Caring and involved parents are one of the most powerful protective factors against college alcohol abuse. The following information on college alcohol abuse is helpful to parents to sit down with their older teens and talk frankly about family expectations regarding college alcohol abuse, drugs and similar issues.

College Alcohol Abuse Information and Statistics

College Alcohol Abuse - How Much: The average male freshman, according to the Core Institute, which surveyed 33,379 undergrads on 53 U.S. campuses in 2005, consumes 7.39 drinks – a bottle of beer, glass of wine, shot or mixed drink – per week, while the average female has 3.86. That’s considered heartening news to some, but college administrators aren’t so heartened, and that's because of the impact that college alcohol abuse has on academic progress.

College Alcohol Abuse Academic Impact: 31% of college students missed a class due to college alcohol abuse, according to the Core statistics, and 22% tanked an exam or essay. And some 159,000 of the nation’s current freshmen will drop out of school because of college alcohol abuse.

College Alcohol Abuse and Sex: Alcohol and sex make for a particularly unhealthy cocktail. Alcohol has been involved in 90% of all campus rapes – either the rapist and/or the victim were under the influence. And it's heavily involved in every other kind of hook up as well. Some 70% of college kids say they had unplanned sex - sex they wouldn't otherwise have had - while under the influence, and 20% didn’t take precautions, even though they practice safe sex when sober.

College Alcohol Abuse and Relationships: Too many teens think alcohol helps their social lives, but college alcohol abuse can take a toll on relationships with friends and roommates. If your teen thinks he may have a problem or ever says a friend implied it, urge him to take a self-assessment quiz, such as the simple one offered online by UC Berkeley's Tang Health Center. If a friend's alcohol use is impacting your child, he may find this article on "How to Help a Friend" helpful.

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