Archive for the 'binge drinking' Category

Duke University study points to motivators

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Researchers at Duke University have identified the two primary drivers for stress-related college student drinking. According to a study published in the journal Biology of Mood & Anxiety Disorders in which 200 students participated, a strong need for a reward and the lack of fear of negative consequences heavily influence heavy campus drinking.

“Imagine the push and pull of opposing drives when a mouse confronts a hunk of cheese in a trap. Too much drive for the cheese and too little fear of the trap leads to one dead mouse,” study researcher Ahmad Hariri, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, said in a statement.

In the study, fMRI scans were conducted on participants, and researchers looked for activity in the reward and fear centers of the brain. According to the Huffington Post,

Scientists found that students who reported stress-related alcohol abuse also had high reactivity in the amygdala brain region’s threat circuitry and the ventral striatum brain region’s reward circuitry.

This ground-breaking study presents ample opportunity for pre-screening students who may be at risk for stress-related consumption.


Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

About 2 in 3 high school students who drink do so to the point of intoxication, that is, they binge drink (defined as having five or more drinks in a row), typically on multiple occasions.


Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Excessive alcohol consumption contributes to more than 4,700 deaths among underage youth, that is, persons less than 21 years of age, in the United States each year. –CDC

Alcohol enemas latest fad at college parties?

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

A nearly-fatal alcohol enema incident last week at a fraternity at the University of Tennessee has led to greater curiosity regarding college students’ alcohol consumption habits. While it is no secret that more than 1,800 students die annually due to binge drinking, this incident forces officials to consider other ways students might be chasing a buzz. Irresponsible behaviors such as ingesting alcohol through the rectum or combining alcohol with prescription drugs increase the effects of alcohol and can pose even greater risks than binge drinking. The unfortunate accident at the University of Tennessee indicates the heinous consequences of irresponsible consumption, and indicates that students must be taught to drink responsibly from someone other than their peers.

Read more information here.

Cornell President on Student Health

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Cornell President David J. Skorton recently wrote a candid synopsis for the Huffington Post regarding the ways in which colleges can improve the health and wellbeing on their charges. Skorton’s essay focuses on four problem areas for students: high risk drinking, hazing, mental health problems, and concussions (primarily in athletes). Hazing and mental health problems, one could argue, are also linked to high risk drinking.

Skorton claims that although curfews and dress codes have gone by the wayside, colleges must maintain their responsibility to give students freedom within a framework. That is, they must hold students accountable for their actions yet allow students to make their own choices. The problem areas Skorton discusses are fodder for debate on the age of majority and the age in which students can reasonably make their own choices.

Energy drinks, alcohol, and sex

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

A recent study published in the Journal of Caffeine Research found that American college students who drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks (caffeinated beverages) are more likely to engage in casual sex. Popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and Amp are combined with vodka, Jagermeister, or other liquors.

According to Kathleen E. Miller, a senior research analyst at the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions says that, “caffeine makes it more difficult to assess drunkenness.”

The study shows that when students combine alcohol with energy drinks leads, they are less decisive about sexual encounters. Energy drinks increase cravings for another drink, and consequently college students end up drinking more alcohol than they would without using an energy drink as a mixer.

According to US News and World Report, “The research doesn’t prove that drinking energy drinks with alcohol causes drunkenness and promiscuity.” However, Miller, “hopes the findings lead to safety legislation or educational campaigns.”

PCLB awards grants to prevent underage drinking, promote responsible consumption

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will commit over $1 million towards efforts to prevent underage drinking in the state of Pennsylvania. PCLB chairman said of the grants, “The PLCB understands the many issues communities face as a result of underage drinking and irresponsible consumption. These grant awards allow us to make a positive impact on the health and well-being of Pennsylvania families and their communities.” Focusing on health and safety, the grants will discourage underage drinking and will also encourage responsible consumption for those of age.

For the full story, click here.

Why lower the drinking age now?

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

In the more than two decades that have passed since its implementation, the 21 year-old drinking age has created a climate in which terms like “binge” and “pregame” have come describe young peoples’ choices about alcohol; in which the law is habitually and thoughtlessly ignored by adolescents and adults alike; in which colleges and communities across the nation are plagued with out-of-control parties, property damage, and belligerent drunks; in which emergency rooms and campus health centers are faced with an alarming number of sometimes fatal cases of alcohol poisoning and overdose on weekend nights; and in which the role of parents in teaching responsible behavior around alcohol has been marginalized and the family disenfranchised. Maintaining status quo in America today is not an option.

We are faced with a law that is out of step with our cultural attitudes towards alcohol, one which encourages violation and breeds disrespect. Historically, we know that during the Vietnam War the 26th Amendment in 1971 provided 18 year-olds the right to vote, the age at which one could be drafted to fight in the war. This constitutional recognition of 18 year-olds as consenting adults was fundamental for guaranteeing the right for 18 year-olds to drink. Again, a quarter century later, we are engaged in a war where many of the soldiers currently serving abroad are under the legal drinking age of 21. And while that historical parallel itself does not provide justification for changing the drinking age, it makes strikingly clear the poor logic behind the assumption that at the age of 18 one is too immature to consume alcohol. If the drinking age were lowered, it would signal a transformation in the relationship our society has with its young adults. Besides engendering greater respect for the law, a lower and more easily enforced drinking age would offer alternative choices for parents and college campuses around the country in shaping responsible drinking behaviors and encouraging informed decisions about alcohol use.

Binge drinking and sexual assault

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

A study recently completed at the University of Georgia reported that “found that first-year female college students who drank four or more alcoholic drinks in one day at the start of the study were 33 percent more likely to be victims of a sexual assault in the following months.”

Sarah Fischer, author of the study, noted that women who binge drink are in greater danger of sexual assault, which is a harm associated with binge drinking; “The main take-home point is that binge drinking at the start of the year increases risk for freshmen college women for later sexual assault during their first year of college.”

This study may lead to other research on the relationship between alcohol and unwanted sexual activity and the social context in which both occur.

Colleges seek to curb spring break bingeing

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Santa Fe College will host a safe spring break event before sending students off in March. The event seeks to discourage binge drinking through incentives for students. Check back after Santa Fe’s break for an update on the success of this endeavor. Read the full article here.