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:1/20/2017)... MT (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... Spectrum Aquatics Launches New ADA Portable ... saving deck space. Since the lift is mounted on wheels, it can be wheeled out ... lock down kit, to fasten to the deck. "We have transformed the feedback from customers ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... Doctor C LLC, a company based ... ECRM trade show to continue the marketing and distribution of its product, The Right ... providing 400 percent better absorption than traditional vitamin C supplements. At the trade show, ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 2017 , ... International Protein, a company based out of Australia that focuses ... January ECRM trade show in Hilton Head, SC. , International Protein was founded ... a line of products that would elevate her fitness regime. At this ECRM trade ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Mary Magdalene: Grace ... mysterious life of the woman who witnessed Jesus Christ firsthand. “Mary Magdalene: Grace is ... who spent her career as an educator interacting with countless women who had little ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... vPEP ® Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) device, was featured in a study ... Doug Pursley, MEd, RRT-ACCS, FAARC, “Analysis of Three Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, ... Inc. ("KemPharm" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: KMPH ) ... Company and certain officers and directors and underwriters of the ... seek the role of lead plaintiff. The lawsuit ... District Court for Johnson County on ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of ... OTC Amplifiers, Diagnostic Instruments), Sales Volume, Company Analysis and Forecast ... ... Sales Volume, Company Analysis and Forecast to 2022 provides a ... The growing prevalence of hearing impairment coupled with an ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... -- Stock-Callers.com today evaluates the following Drug Manufacturers ... Nordisk A/S (NYSE: NVO ), Sucampo Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... (NASDAQ: PTX ). These stocks belong to the ... 2017, finishing near its session lows. As per a NASDAQ ... shares of health care companies in the S&P 500 also ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: