Navigation Links
Binge drinking tied to conditions in the college environment
Date:7/11/2008

Boston, MA -- Heavy alcohol use, or binge drinking, among college students in the United States is tied to conditions in the college environment. That is one of the key findings from research conducted by researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS), a landmark study that surveyed more than 50,000 students at 120 colleges from 1993 to 2001. In a new review that examines the findings from the CAS and their implications, the researchers conclude that heavy drinking behavior of students was more common in college environments that have a strong drinking culture, few alcohol control policies on campus or in the surrounding community, weak enforcement of existing policies, and alcohol made easily accessible through low prices, heavy marketing and special promotions. The review appears in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

The review was conducted by CAS Director Henry Wechsler, lecturer on society, human development and health at Harvard School of Public Health and Assistant Director Toben Nelson, assistant professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota.

During its 14-year existence, the CAS focused attention on widespread binge drinking at American colleges and the ensuing serious health and social consequences to drinkers, fellow students and neighbors. "Our study drew attention to the heavy drinking of students, most of whom were not considered alcoholics or in need of traditional treatment, but nevertheless experienced problems as a result of their drinking," said Wechsler. Students who binge drink--defined by the CAS as five or more drinks in a row for males, and four or more drinks for females, on a single occasion in the past two weeks--are more likely to experience a wide range of problems, including academic difficulties, social conflict, risky sexual behavior, risky driving behavior, vandalism, injury and alcohol overdose. Binge drinkers were also more likely to engage in other risk behaviors such as tobacco and illicit drug use. Students who binge drink frequently were most likely to experience these problems.

In addition to the harms drinkers cause for themselves, CAS research drew attention to the problems that drinkers cause for others on and around campus. The "secondhand" effects of alcohol use, similar to the concept of secondhand smoke, helped people understand that student drinking is harmful to the larger campus community. These problems include drinking-related behavior that is disruptive to studying and sleep, vandalism, and physical and sexual assaults.

"The five/four drink binge measure is a good indicator of who will experience alcohol-related problems, and more importantly, captures most students who actually experience problems, something measures with higher drink thresholds fail to do," said Wechsler. Binge drinkers account for the vast majority of unintentional injuries, vandalism and disorderly behavior on campus due to alcohol, the researchers found.

CAS research focused on the contribution of the college environment to student drinking behavior. "Binge drinking among college students varies widely from college to college," said Nelson. "At some colleges almost no students binge drink, while at others nearly four in every five students do. Interestingly, we found that the levels of binge drinking, and the problems related to it, remain very stable at the same colleges over time." This finding occurred despite surveying a new group of students in each of the CAS surveys. "That suggests there is something about certain college environments that promote binge drinking," added Nelson.

While some students chose to enroll in a college because it has a party reputation, CAS research found that campuses that emphasize intercollegiate athletics and fraternity and sorority life have higher levels of binge drinking. Students who lived off-campus with friends or in other unsupervised settings were also more likely to binge drink.

On the other hand, colleges that restricted use by banning alcohol on campus or offering substance-free housing options had fewer drinkers, and as a result lower binge drinking levels. State and local government can also play a role. Students who attended colleges in states with stronger alcohol control policies were less likely to be binge drinkers.

The ease with which students can access alcohol is another important factor. "A 'wet' college environment, one that has many stores where students can buy alcohol, and may be influenced to do so by heavy marketing, low prices and special promotions, creates the conditions for heavy drinking," said Wechsler. "If colleges can change those conditions, they can reduce binge drinking among their students."


'/>"/>

Contact: Todd Datz
tdatz@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-3952
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Binge drinking due to copying behavior
2. Erectile Dysfunction a Strong Harbinger of Heart Trouble
3. Study finds 21st birthday binge drinking extremely common; can pose serious health hazards
4. Warning for women who binge drink
5. Harbinger Research Initiates Coverage on HearAtLast
6. Erectile Dysfunction: A Harbinger of Heart Trouble
7. Bally Total Fitness Emerges From Chapter 11 and Closes Transaction with Harbinger Capital Partners Funds
8. Pregnancy may increase the risk of developing binge eating disorder
9. Tough Underage Drinking Laws Saving Lives
10. Pediatrics review of underage drinking prevention programs led by Iowa State researcher
11. Hazardous Drinking More Common Than Thought
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: