Profile of a Binge Drinker

Alcohol use on college campuses has been documented in the U.S. for at least 50 years. However, recent concerns have centered on heavy episodic drinking, a potentially dangerous practice often termed “binge drinking.” 

Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in a row for men and four or more drinks in a row for women. About two out of five college students had engaged in binge drinking within two weeks of the survey. An additional two out of five college students drink – but not to excess – while one in five does not use alcohol at all. 

  • Studies revealed that students who were binge drinkers in high school were almost three times more likely to be binge drinkers in college.

  • White students were more than twice as likely to be binge drinkers compared to other racial/ethnic groups.

  • Students who were disinterested in participating in religious activities were more than twice as likely to be binge drinkers.

  • Students who said that athletic participation was very important or important to them were almost one and a half times more likely to be binge drinkers.

  • Residents of fraternities or sororities were four times as likely to be binge drinkers compared to other students.

  • Contrary to expectations, the student’s year in school was NOT a significant predictor of binge drinking, but was nearly uniform from freshman through senior year.

  • Very few students, even those who admitted they binge drank three or more times during the past two weeks, said they had a problem with alcohol.

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