The dangerous ritual of drinking on college campus has become ubiquitous. In the parleys of campus life, drinking is widely hailed as ‘a rite of passage’ into adulthood. The college students jump into this ritual without giving a second thought to the dangerous consequences that underage drinking might lead to. Many students already come with prior experience in drinking and the college environment only serves to exacerbate the problem.
Among all, binge drinking is a common phenomenon across college campuses leading to grave consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 11 percent of all alcohol consumed in the United states are consumed by people between ages 12 and 20 despite the legal limit for drinking being 21. On an average, underage drinkers consume more drinks than by adult drinkers on any drinking occasion.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug and Health (NSDUH), approximately 7.3 million people aged 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the past month, including 4.5 million (62.5 percent) who reported binge drinking and 1.1 million (14.7 percent) who indulged in heavy alcohol use.
Although drinking patterns vary by age and gender, the chances of indulging in excessive drinking is quite common among adults exposed to alcohol as adolescents.
Moreover, they are comparatively more vulnerable to alcohol addiction and the associated negative effects. As indulgence in underage drinking takes a heavy toll on the intellect and cognitive abilities of the users, they are likely to witness significant problems in their academics and overall performance.
Consequences of drinking on the college campus
The rising trend of underage drinking, especially among college goers, has emerged as a serious public health problem due to various risks and negative consequences. Irrespective of age, the multipronged consequences of underage drinking affect everyone. According to a publication by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), here are some alarming data.
- Drunk driving: Nearly 1,825 college students between 18 and 24 years of age die from unintentional injuries and motor accidents due to alcohol consumption. Since alcohol interferes with one’s reasoning and can lead to poor decisions and responses, it prods people into engaging in risky behaviors that result in fatal consequences.
- Physical and sexual assault: There have been numerous accounts of transgression by drunk underage youth aged between 18 and 24 that resulted in 696,000 assaults. About 97,000 students have been the victims of sexual assault or date rape. Since drinking impairs judgement, most of these incidents would not have occurred had the students not been drunk.
- Alcohol use disorder (AUD): Research has shown that people who start drinking early, i.e., before the age of 15, are predisposed to becoming alcohol dependent and developing alcohol addiction. About 20 percent of college students are afflicted with AUD.
- Poor academic performance: According to one study, about one out of four college students fall behind in class, frequently missing classes, doing poorly in exams and faring poorly in their overall academic pursuits.
Road to recovery
As mentioned above, underage drinking is a serious public health concern in the U.S. not only for the affected individuals but also for their families. The undesirable repercussions of underage drinking include aggressive and violent behavior, damage to properties, unintentional and intentional injuries, and death in the worst scenario. Such an unhealthy practice has landed many youngsters in trouble with the school or college authorities and the law.
If you are finding it difficult to avoid cravings, you can seek professional help to stay sober. The 24/7 Alcohol Abuse Help can assist those addicted to alcohol in overcoming addiction by suggesting some of the state-of-the-art alcohol abuse treatment facilities. You can chat online or call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-480-6873 for more information on the treatment centers for alcohol addiction.