College Students Exceed Non-students in Alcohol Abuse

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported this week that college students’ tendency to abuse alcohol significantly exceeds the tendency to abuse alcohol in their non-student counterparts. The article, which cites a 2009 report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, claims that 46.6 percent of college students have battled substance abuse versus only 30 percent of those not enrolled in college.

To make a conservative estimate, a traditional, four-year college might have a student body in which at least half of its students under the age of 21. Given the Chronicle’s news cited above where 46.6 percent of college students have had a drinking problem, arguably, at least half of these students with a problem were under 21.

Statistical information such as this refutes the impossible claims that current alcohol regulations in our country are preventing consumption by those who are underage. What’s more, the “bubble-like” college environment, where students are mostly surrounded by people their own age, can exacerbate unhealthy drinking behaviors. Many college students leave home without an understanding of how to imbibe responsibly and then mirror the dangerous habits of their peers, who have  just as little education on responsible consumption.

4 Responses to “College Students Exceed Non-students in Alcohol Abuse”

  1. Edwin Bonilla Says:

    I am not surprised by the findings from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Universities and colleges are places where alcohol abuse can be found because too many young women and young men treat alcohol abuse as exciting. With the ageist drinking age, they feel that they don’t have to be responsible. If the drinking age were lowered to 18 with an alcohol license, alcohol abuse would be cut down because their would be punishments. Enforcing the high drinking age won’t solve the problem any time, anywhere.

  2. Ajax the Great Says:

    The article and headline is a bit misleading because the actual report says that 46.6% OF THOSE STUDENTS WHO SEEK SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT did so primarily for alcohol, NOT 46.6% of all college students have a drinking problem. And most students never seek substance abuse treatment, and students are actually LESS likely to seek treatment than non-students. The real number (from the report) is about 25% of college students meet the criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence. Which is still high, of course, but not nearly as scary as the article implies.

    But clearly, the 21 drinking age isn’t helping.

  3. Ben R.Joyce Says:

    Beer is for fools.Billy Sunday was right on this subject.

  4. Ajax the Great Says: