Binge Drinking In Colleges A study conducted by researchers at Harvard University found that binge drinking continues to be a widespread problem among U.S. colleges, Reuters reported Sept. 10. In particular, the report identified binge drinking among fraternity and sorority students as a major concern. The study, led by Harvard School of Public Health professor Henry Wechsler, was conducted in 1997 at 116 campuses in 39 states.
A total of 14,521 students were interviewed. The researchers found that 42.7 percent of students were binge drinkers, with 20.7 percent frequent binge drinkers. In addition, 81.1 percent of those living in fraternity or sorority houses were binge drinkers. Binge drinking is defined as the consumption of at least five drinks in a row for men or four drinks in a row for women. “If colleges are to have an impact on their alcohol problems, they must change this drinking culture drastically,” said Wechsler.
The survey also indicated that 22.5 percent of students had unplanned sexual activity while under the influence of alcohol and 35.8 percent drove after drinking. Frequent binge drinkers were found to be at least eight times as likely to miss a class, fall behind in their schoolwork, have blackouts, become injured and damage property. The results of the survey appear in the September issue of the Journal of American College Health.