College is oftentimes a very exciting period in a young person’s life. This is likely the first time they are away from their parents for an extended amount of time, and they are able to make more decisions for themselves. There are hundreds, if not thousands of new people to meet and plenty of free time to make new experiences one would not necessarily have the opportunity to do if they stay at home.
Perhaps it is a combination of the above points that makes it more likely that college students will abuse alcohol, but regardless of the reason it is clear that college students continuously place themselves at risk for alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behavior and violence while under the influence of alcohol. They’re also potentially setting the building blocks for a long-term alcohol abuse or addiction problem in the future. In order to better understand why alcohol remains such a problem for college students, many researchers are working on studies and investigations into the life of a college student and how they can best be helped when it comes to making smarter decisions regarding alcohol consumption.
Studies have shown that at least 60% of college students have gotten drunk in the last thirty days. This large number certainly indicates that many students are not only able to purchase alcohol, despite being under the age limit, but they are also able to purchase enough that they can attain a feeling of being drunk. This is important because it has been found that alcohol causes around 1,800 deaths a year among college students.
Peer pressure and the college environment have also been noted as reasons why many students drink, as many become swept up in the “traditions” of Greek Life and other collegiate activities. Without the constant guidance of their parents or other responsible mentors, students will often make poor decisions when trying to fit in. This conformity often shows itself in drinking heavily.
In order to minimize the damage that alcohol can have on the developing brain and the effects that it can have on someone’s behavior and decision making process, further studies may reveal more adequate prevention measures.