Survey says that one-third of college students binge drink in a one-month period

By JENNA SKARLUPKA, The Proxy Report Staff

MACOMB, Illinois – About 33 percent of college students ages 18 to 22 binge drink in a one-month period, according to a national survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Binge drinking is defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as a drinking pattern that raises one’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 percent or higher in a two-hour period. For adults, this corresponds to consuming four to five standard-sized drinks in a two-hour period.

Western Illinois University hosted its “Think B4 You Drink” event on Oct. 29 to promote safe alcohol consumption. Stations at the event addressed topics such as consequences of unsafe drinking, sex education about consent under the influence and more. The event is held each October to address alcohol-related safety concerns that arise around Halloween.

According to the NIAAA, “Many college alcohol problems are related to binge drinking.” This may include car crashes, drunk-driving arrests and other health and safety risks. Repeated binge drinking can lead to organ damage later on. 

The 2019 SAMHSA survey also found that about 9 percent of college students met the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, while the NIAAA estimated that about 1,519 college students die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries. The institute said that awareness events such as WIU’s “Think B4 You Drink” can help decrease unsafe alcohol consumption.

In the United States, standard-sized drinks contain 0.6 ounces of alcohol, which is found in 12 ounces of beer with a 5 percent alcohol content, 5 ounces of wine with a 12 percent alcohol content, and 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits with a 40 percent alcohol content.




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