Alcohol Abuse on Campus

For many college students, going to college frees them from their parents’ constraints. Unfortunately, this may encourage some students to act in spontaneous ways that they do not fully think through. In addition, going to college is tough for young adults to deal with, as it may make them feel overwhelmed, fearful and lost. Unfortunately, this inexperience and increased freedom often causes some students to abuse alcohol.

Why Students Drink

When asked why they drink, many students say it is because they can. However, other college students cite the following reasons for alcohol abuse:

  • To calm down, avoid worry and cope with stress
  • To overcome shyness, depression or loneliness
  • To fit into social situations with more confidence

College is a time of personal experimentation for many students, and drinking alcohol is just one of the ways students may test their boundaries.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse on College Campuses

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), the following 2002 statistics describe the scope of alcohol abuse on college campuses:

  • 1,700 college students died from alcohol-related causes, with 1,300 of these deaths due to drinking and driving
  • 600,000 students suffered nonfatal injuries
  • Nearly 500,000 students had unprotected sex
  • More than 100,000 students were too intoxicated to know whether they consented to sexual intercourse
  • 1.2–1.5 percent of students attempted suicide because of alcohol or other drug use
  • More than 150,000 students developed a health problem related to alcohol
  • 11 percent of students damaged property while drunk
  • 2.8 million students drove while under the influence of alcohol

While these statistics came from a 2002 NIAAA report, data from a 2007 report showed that alcohol abuse remained prevalent on campuses. The same organization further reports the following problems:

  • Heavy drinking increased from 1998 to 2001
  • Driving while intoxicated increased from 2.3 million in 1998 to 2.8 million in 2001
  • The number of alcohol-related deaths increased 6 percent from 1998 to 2001

These statistics indicate that millions of students each year are at risk for alcohol abuse.

Effects of Alcohol Abuse

According to the Harvard School of Public Health’s College Alcohol Study, the effects of alcohol abuse among college students can lead to long-term health and safety problems, including an increased risk of the following issues:

  • Frequent heavy drinking and becoming dependent on alcohol
  • Drinking and driving
  • Riding with a driver who was drinking or is drunk
  • Sustaining injuries after drinking alcohol that required medical attention

If alcohol abuse can lead to long-term effects that can permanently damage your life, then it is while you are in college that you need to get help.

Alcohol Abuse Help

Abusing alcohol in college has financial, educational and social ramifications. Get help learning about the most appropriate alcohol addiction treatment for your specific needs. While recovery is difficult, it is possible and we can help, so please call our toll-free helpline today. We are available 24 hours a day to answer any questions you might have about alcohol addiction treatment. We are here to help you recover.