How To Develop A Drinking Problem In College

Updated on September 30, 2020


Attention all college kids: halt all parties immediately. Now that we’ve got your attention, listen up: did you know you could develop a serious drinking problem in college? According to research, four out of five college students consume alcohol, and it is estimated that about 50 percent of the students binge-drink, which means consuming a large load of alcohol in a short period of time. And no, it’s not just a party phase. It’s called College Alcoholism. 

Alcoholism is a very prevalent issue, and frequent heavy drinking just puts you at a higher risk of developing an alcohol use disorder, which could potentially cause severe physical and mental damage. If not taken seriously, you could carry this over post-college, only making your addiction more serious and harder to recover from. 

As college students dealing with newfound independence from moving out of their homes, parties are very enticing. Drinking every weekend could cause the body to build an alcohol tolerance, which means you don’t get high so easily as compared to when you first drank. Although that may sound cool, it’s really not, because you’re increasing your consumption of alcohol the more parties you attend. If you have friends who might have such a problem, be sure to educate yourself on evaluating if someone requires rehab and treatment to help them. 

Binge Drinking in College 

A typical college party is laden with booze — and the basic procedure of a party always includes a pre-gaming session before commencing on free and easy socializing. College kids call it “pre-gaming” but ask a medical professional and they’ll tell you it’s actually “binge drinking”. Pre-gaming always involves consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time in order to reach a satiable level of high before partying. 

It is observed that most binge drinking occurs during the first month of college students’ freshman year. Consumption of alcohol at college parties are just part of the “college experience”; a desirable experience for many students. In order to fit in and socialize, many students drink, ignorant of the detrimental effects alcohol brings. 

Studies suggest that young adults are now drinking with the intention to get drunk instead of actually socializing, which explains why many have shifted to consuming liquors instead of beers. Consuming liquor gets you high faster than a beer does, which aligns with what the kids want nowadays. They drink till they pass out, which is severely dangerous and can result in potentially fatal effects like alcohol poisoning. 

Consequences of College Alcoholism

Even if you don’t drink, you probably have experienced the effects of heavy alcohol consumption. Alcoholism can affect relationships, work, and the drinker negatively. Problems start to arise when individuals begin to drink heavily, risking their health and the health of others around them. 

For example, drinking too much could affect your grades. It impairs your ability to focus and affects your motivation to do well in school. In fact, one in every four students have confessed to performing poorly in classes due to partying. This damages reputation in classes because no one would want to work with an unproductive teammate, which could really impact their grade for the semester. This affects the progression of a student’s academic career and wastes even more logistics invested into education. 

Additionally, excessive drinking can increase a person’s proneness to injury or accidents ranging from superficial cuts to broken bones or concussions. Every year, an estimated 600,000 students accidentally hurt themselves due to their drinking behavior. 

For students who face depression or anxiety, drinking can cause potentially fatal effects, due to alcohol’s ability to shift a person’s mind and their ability to act and think rationally. Alcohol is also a depressant, which slows down the body’s ability to process things like stress, resulting in many relying on drinking to relieve themselves. It puts students with mental instabilities at a higher risk of attempting suicide or self-harm. 

It is important to note that the effects of heavy drinking, although not instantaneous, are still damaging. An estimate of about 150,000 college students develop an alcohol-related problem like liver damage, high blood pressure, and inflammation of the pancreas. Studies have found that college students who frequently drink at an adolescent age are more prone to develop a reliance on alcohol later in life. 

Alcoholism can be a product of chronic drinking over a couple of years, but it can also be a result of heavy and frequent consumption over a short period of time. It’s been found that about 20 percent of college students satisfy the criteria of having an alcohol use disorder. 60 percent of college students drank in the past month, and out of that percentage, two out of three participated in binge-drinking. Although a minority, around 2,000 college students die from accidental alcohol-related injuries each year. 

Alcohol and Crime

According to a study, about 700,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 have been assaulted by a drunk student. The consumption of alcohol can lead to the inability to be conscious of one’s environment, inevitably making oneself easily exposed to assault. 

In some cases, sexual assault is another crime related to the consumption of alcohol in college. Many sexual offenders and predators prey on vulnerable victims, like drunk college students, to assault. Sexual assault can have a damaging and prolonged effect on a victim mentally and physically, like getting a sexually transmitted disease, having an unwanted pregnancy, or lasting traumatic symptoms. 

Other than assault, college students who have been heavily drinking before have been found to participate in acts of vandalism, drunk-driving, and homicide. The consumption of alcohol can enable an individual to act in a disorderly way, compared to how they would sober. This, however, does not exempt students from facing harsh penalties, especially if they are charged heavily for a harmful crime. 

Do Not Be Afraid To Seek Help 

There is no harm in seeking professional help to deal with the effects of drinking, in fact, it’s recommended to do so once you notice the warning signs of alcoholism. Trust us when we say that it’s better to cut off a habit at its early stages and to practice drinking in moderation. There are many effective strategies and treatments to help students curb their drinking habits, let’s start making better decisions today. 

+ posts

Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.