Binge Drinking On College Campuses Essay, Research Paper
Binge drinking on college campuses
We have all heard the terms boozing, drinking to get drunk, sloshed, tanked, tipsy, tooted, hammered, and the like. But have you ever really thought about what you were saying when you used these terms. You were saying that all that you did the night before was binge drink. Binge drinking on college campuses is something that has grown to an all time high. All too often we have heard the horror stories of how kids are getting behind the wheel of a car after a night of binge drinking, and end up killing everyone involved, but themselves. Binge drinking is dangerous and until we all realize that it has serious effects, we will never fully understand it.
The Harvard University student questionnaire defined a “drink” as a 12-ounce can or bottle of beer, a 12-ounce can or bottle of wine cooler, a four-ounce glass of wine, or a shot of liquor, either straight or in a mixed drink. “Frequent” binge drinking was defined as binge drinking three or more times in a week. This is something that we have all heard about, and we all know well, but again, do we really think about it. Statistics show that binge drinking is on the rise among college students. For males and females alike, the statistics are on the rise. For college males, the books define binge drinking as drinking five or more drinks in a row in the past two weeks. For college females, the books define binge drinking as having four or more drinks in the past two weeks. As far as what happens when the individual is intoxicated, now that is a whole different issue. Studies have shown that 81% of women, and 82% of men have hangovers the next day. More than 26% of women and 33% of the men polled, admitted to engaging in unplanned sexual activity the night before. 42% of women and 45% of males admitted to missing a class the next day. Frequent binge drinkers were the ones though that had the most serious problems. Frequent binge drinkers were over 16 times more likely to miss a class the next day, than non-binge drinkers. The results of most of the studies showed that binge drinking is the most serious drug addiction on college campuses. More than 44% of the students were binge drinkers. Of that 44%, more than 50% of them were men and 39% women. Nearly one half of all the students polled admitted to having problems in school at least five or more times since the semester started. Now on a whole, when I go out to bars, I know that I consume more than five drinks in a night. Does this make me a binge drinker, apparently it does. We are all guilty of binge drinking, however, some of us are more at risk than others.
There are some ways that we can help to curb this issue. For starters, we can help to incorporate a “Zero Tolerance for alcohol related violence.” Since we have all seen that this is a growing problem, there are some ways to help this. The problems associated with alcohol related violence include such things as rape, assault, violence, fighting, resisting arrest, and alcohol impaired driving. More than 62% of men and 49% of women said that they had driven a car while intoxicated. This figure just boggles my mind. That is almost two thirds of all men polled, and almost half of all the women polled. This figure scares me to death. The ways to solve the issues will be well received by alumni, parents, faculty, staff and non-drinkers, who are oftentimes the ones on the receiving end of an accident.
Another way that we can help to solve this issue is by taking the necessary steps to regulate the amount of alcohol consumed on college campuses. Again, this will be received as very unpopular among many groups, but I think that we all feel that it is a necessary step. Along with this is the need to enforce the minimum drinking age of 21. If we set stronger rules for getting into bars and purchasing alcohol, then we will cut down on the amount consumed by minors.
The results of binge drinking can be life threatening. Things such as brain damage, hospitalization and death are all too common in our society. They are most oftentimes the result of a bout with binge drinking.
In a personal sense, since I have to put myself in this group, the ways that the addiction sets in are drastic. The addiction starts with going out to the bars on Friday and Saturday nights, and then slowly it turns to include Thursday?s as well. Eventually the individual says to himself/herself, “oh well, I have class late tomorrow, I can go out tonight.” This is where the addiction starts to grow and the grades begin to fall. The pattern is seen on just about all college campuses, and if you go out around any college town on a Wednesday night, you will see what I mean. More and more, there are students that believe that they can recover in time for their class the next day. The addiction sets in a grows stronger till it is full blown alcoholism, and sadly we are finding that more and more of the problems associated with alcoholism begin at a young age, and develop in college. By the time that the individual graduates from college, they are already in a rut from which they cannot escape, and their lives turn for the worse.
As far as a recovery process goes, this can be just as hard as getting up for class the next day. One way that I believe is the most effective in helping the issue is to remove the individual from the source of the problem. If you take the college student out of the environment where his/her fellow classmates are constantly feeding them with alcohol, then you will see a drastic change. Many college campuses have set up types of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where the students can work together to stop the drinking in its tracks. This is still however just a preliminary step to resolving the issue. I still contest that by removing the individual from the source, then you will help to solve the problem.
We are recently seeing that all too often binge drinking can end up in the worst ways. Recently, locally, we have seen death as and end to a night of binge drinking. For example, in a personal sense, I lost a good friend in the fall of 1996 to binge drinking, and this past summer three people had to die in a car crash to open some of our eyes to this issue. Too many times we have all said, “Nah, that won?t happen to me,” but what will you be saying when it is you that has the tube shoved down your throat to pump your stomach. Or will you be on the other end of the picture staring into the coffin at your friend who claimed that it would never happen to them. Binge drinking is a major problem on most college campuses. It is something that we cannot solve alone, but if we all work together, we can make a stride to lessen it. I have lost too many friends to stupidity, and I am not ready to lose any more. The first step would be to take away the keys. Let?s work together to stop the death.
“Binge Drinking on College Campuses: Results of a National Study.” Http://www.edc.org/hec/pubs/binge.htm. December 12,1999.
Jeff Stryker. “The Right Dose of Scare Tactics.” New York Times.
New York. October 31, 1999
“Pub happy hours lead to binge drinking and crime.”
The Guardian. Manchester. November 4, 1999
“Bingers Beware.” St. Louis Post. St. Louis, Missouri. October 26, 1999