Within the last ten years media coverage of young people and their habits has forced society to show greater concern for the consequences of binge drinking. In January of 1998, a special section of the New York Times, as section named Education Life, reported that during one two-week period, 25% of the students at the University of Virginia had exposed themselves to the consequences of binge drinking on three or more occasions.
Close to the time when that report became published, the Harvard School of Public Health conducted a survey of 140 U.S. colleges. The purpose of that study was to expose all of the consequences of binge drinking. The study examined the dangers of binge drinking, and the consequences that binge drinking creates for both the drinker and for others.
A large number of the surveyed students confessed that binge drinking had impaired their ability to perform in the classroom. Two of the consequences of binge drinking that students had suffered were:
1) They missed an important class;
2) They found that they forgot where they were or what they were doing.
Male students who had practiced binge drinking had experienced other troubles. The consequences that they added to their list included: run-ins with local and campus police, injuries received while inflicting property damage and injuries sustained by involvement in some sort of scuffle.
Females who responded to the Harvard survey mentioned consequences that differed from those that had affected the male students. The consequences that they had encountered most-often resulted from contact with binge drinkers. Those consequences included: interruption of study or sleep, unwanted sexual advances, engagement in a serious argument and exposure to violent pushing or shoving.
Women college students also indicated that contact with others who had engaged in binge drinking had inflicted problems and consequences that the students had failed to foresee. For example, 34% of the women surveyed said that hey had been insulted or humiliated after they had met-up with someone who had participated in binge drinking. And 54% of the women said that they had sacrificed study, sleep and personal time to care for a drunken student.
The consequences of binge drinking can also cut-short the life of a vibrant and intelligent young man or woman. Binge drinking can lead to an alcohol-related car accident, or it can place dangerously large amounts of alcohol inside the student's body.
Why do students participate in binge drinking? Binge drinking has the same allure as alcohol. Binge drinking provides students, many who are away from home for the first time, with an added way to deal with stress.
Unfortunately, most students have received little, if any, education about the dangers and the consequences of binge drinking. Too many young people have not understanding of how to use coping strategies, strategies that would help them to deal head-on with their college problems.