Alcohol and the Causes of Student Binge Drinking

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Causes of Student Binge Drinking We've all heard it before: "Too much of anything is bad for us." The amount of binge drinking occurring on American college campuses today proves that college students do not heed this warning. Binge drinking, or drinking for the purpose of getting drunk, harms both drinkers and non-drinkers alike. As today's college students come dangerously close to being swept away in the sea of papers, exams, jobs, and interviews, they use bingeing as the lifeboat that allows them to escape the stress. It allows them to forget their worries, fit in with the crowd, and live on the edge in a fast-paced world that normally does not leave time for such activities. Teetering on the brink of adulthood, yet still trapped in childhood makes drinking decisions difficult for many college students. A desire to get away from our usual lives because of societal regulations and conformity, psychological and emotional problems, and the stress of everyday life causes college binge drinking. The need to conform to societal norms set by peers leads to college binge drinking. Over the years, drinking has become a popular pastime for college students. A study conducted by Dr. Katherine C. Lyall of the University of Wisconsin defined binge drinking as "five or more drinks in a row one or more times during a two week period for men, and four or more drinks in a row one or more times during the same period for women." Lyall's study, in which 145 colleges from 40 states participated, found that 84% of all students drank during the school year. It also found that 44% of all students were binge drinkers, and 19% binged three or more times within a two week period (Lyall). Students feel the need to drink in order to fit in wit... ... middle of paper ... ... well as those surrounding him or her. Societal norms, psychological and emotional problems, and stress all contribute to binge drinking. These factors should not be excuses, however. Today's college students are capable of finding a legal and safe lifeboat that keeps them from being sucked under the waves of daunting college pressures. Works Cited Addeo, Edmond G. and Jovita Reichling. Why Our Children Drink. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, 1975. Hamilton, Cheryl. Communicating for Results. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1997. Lyall, Katherine C., PhD. "Binge Drinking on American College Campuses." August 1995. October 14, 1998. (available online). http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/RWJ_S.htm North, Robert and Richard Orange, Jr. Teenage Drinking. New York: Collier Books, 1980. Rouse, Ewing. Drinking. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1978.

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