It is difficult to determine the exact number as drinking habits vary widely among college students, but research suggests that roughly 1 in 4 college students engage in binge drinking (defined as consuming 5 or more drinks in a row for men, and 4 or more drinks in a row for women) at least once a week.
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The frequency of drinking among college students is a topic of concern for many individuals. While it is challenging to determine the exact number of times a week that the average college student drinks, studies have shown that roughly 1 in 4 college students engage in binge drinking at least once a week.
According to a report by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, binge drinking is prevalent among college students, and it can have detrimental effects on their health, academic performance, and mental well-being. The report notes that “binge drinking is associated with many health and social problems, including car crashes, violent behavior, and sexually transmitted diseases. It can also lead to alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal.”
Interestingly, the frequency of drinking among college students varies by demographic factors. For example, male students are more likely than female students to engage in binge drinking, and students who belong to fraternities and sororities are more likely to drink heavily than those who do not. Additionally, students who live in on-campus housing drink more frequently than those who live off-campus.
In terms of preventative measures, institutions of higher education have implemented various strategies to reduce the frequency of drinking among college students. These strategies include increasing alcohol awareness programs, providing counseling services for students struggling with substance abuse, enforcing strict alcohol policies, and offering alternative social events that do not involve alcohol.
As journalist David Broder once said, “Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like painkiller X and painkiller Y. But they’re both just aspirin.” In the case of binge drinking among college students, it is essential to educate students about the potential dangers of excessive alcohol consumption and provide them with alternative ways to have fun and socialize without putting their health at risk.
Table: Frequency of Drinking Among College Students by Demographic Factors (Adapted from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2018)
|Demographic Group||Frequency of Drinking (Past Month)|
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The video discusses the drinking habits of incoming college students, revealing that 38 percent did not drink alcohol in the past two weeks, while 67 percent did not drink at all. It was found that male students consumed an average of 4.39 drinks, while female students drank an average of four drinks per week. Additionally, about 9 percent of students showed signs of alcohol use disorder, and 25 percent reported academic consequences such as missed classes and lower grades. Finally, 36 percent of incoming students did not drink any alcohol in the past year.
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Female students tend to consume 4 drinks per week versus male students, who drink more than double the amount at 9 drinks a week. Persons become at-risk drinkers, or those most likely to become alcoholic, when the number of drinks per week climb.
According to a survey of over 2000 college-aged students, freshmen and sophomores consume 14 drinks per week on average, juniors drink 17, and seniors and graduate students drink 19 drinks per week on average. The average number of drinks a college student drinks per week is 6.5.
According to the Tab survey of over 2000 college-aged students, nearly 2000 self-reported the number of drinks they consumed each week. Freshmen and sophomores consume 14 drinks per week on average, juniors drink 17. Seniors and graduate students drink 19 drinks per week on average.
Drinking costs: If we go with the lower estimates of what a college student drinks per week, the average is 6.5 drinks. If they buy the cheapest drinks possible (say, a six-pack of beer), they’ll spend around $1.50 per drink.  That amounts to roughly another $10. That adds up to about $27.
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On average, students spend $42 a month on alcohol. Including alcohol, the monthly grocery bill for a college student would be $292. Binge drinkers may spend $75 or more a month on alcohol.
- Chico and California State University, Chico.
- Boulder and the University of Colorado.
- Billings and Montana State University Billings.
- Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.
- The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Fargo and North Dakota State University.