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.