People who use recreational drugs also often participate in the dangerous form of alcohol consumption called binge drinking. However, researchers only partly understand the reasons this overlapping substance abuse occurs. In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review, a team of Australian researchers explored the role that drug intoxication plays in increasing the likelihood that a young adult substance user will also take part in binge drinking. These researchers concluded that some forms of drug intoxication (but not others) are linked with alcohol binging.
Drinking in college is almost a rite of passage. It has become such an ingrained part of college culture that it is difficult to remove. What’s worse than many underage college students having a beer or two is the prevalence of binge drinking. When young people drink to excess they risk their health, being assaulted and missing out on academic opportunities, not to mention becoming addicted to alcohol. Binge drinking is most common and extreme among people between the ages of 18 and 24. If you have a child in college, talk to him about binge drinking and just how harmful it can be.
Mixing energy drinks with liquor is not a new practice. The popular Red Bull and vodka is practically a classic cocktail. Young drinkers began the trend of adding alcohol to energy drinks to stay awake to party and to increase the buzz already provided by alcohol. Experts have warned about the dangers of mixing alcohol with stimulants like caffeinated beverages for years. Now, researchers have found another reason not to consume this toxic drink. It leads to harmful and dangerous binge drinking.
Heavy drinking is a problem for a number of reasons. It can lead to alcohol poisoning, intoxication, bad decisions, accidents and even addiction and health problems. Binge drinking is defined as more than four drinks at one sitting for a woman and more than five for a man. This kind of drinking is particularly prevalent among young people. Statistics show that 80 percent of college students drink and that half of them binge drink. The traditional approach to dealing with problem drinking is to commit to a 12-step program and to abstain from alcohol forever. For young people, this may be too big a challenge, and some experts think they have a viable alternative.
In the U.S., young adults enrolled in college are widely known for their relatively heavy participation in alcohol consumption, as well as for their level of involvement in risky, potentially fatal drinking practices. Researchers and public health officials know that the perceived acceptability of drinking has a strong influence on the likelihood that any college student will consume alcohol. In a study slated for publication in September 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the University of Houston sought to determine if any given student’s perception of acceptable drinking norms depends on their level of social identification or allegiance with college as a whole.
Significant numbers of young women in the U.S. are affected by problematic drinking behaviors and/or the symptoms of an eating disorder. In some cases, affected women may initially fall into their eating and alcohol-related behaviors as part of a conscious or unconscious attempt to cope with various forms of stress. In a study published in May 2014 in Addictive Behaviors, researchers from Auburn University explored the potential connection between alcohol problems and eating disorders in young women and the presence of similar issues in their parents. These researchers also explored the more general influence of a dysfunctional family environment on young women’s drinking and eating behaviors.
Significant numbers of U.S. college students consume alcohol in excessive amounts. One of the well-established potential consequences of this excessive drinking is involvement as either a perpetrator or target of a sexual assault. In a study published in July/August 2014 in The American Journal on Addictions, researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln looked at some of the factors that could explain the connection between problem drinking in college men and participation in sexually aggressive behavior. Specifically, these researchers looked at the impact of college men’s preexisting expectations regarding alcohol’s effects on behavior.
Alcohol consumption is substantially more popular among young adults who attend college than among other people in the same age range who don’t attend college. Some of the campaigns designed to curb drinking on college campuses rely on an intervention technique called personalized normative feedback, which uses comparisons with the drinking behaviors of peers to dispel drinking myths and lower alcohol consumption rates. In a study published in June 2014 in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, a team of U.S. researchers sought to determine if participation in personalized normative feedback can inadvertently cause a college student who drinks below peer average to increase his or her alcohol intake.
Some people are fairly susceptible to the effects of alcohol and experience them even when they drink small amounts. Conversely, others have a relative lack of alcohol susceptibility and can drink fairly large amounts before they experience any appreciable effects. In a report published in June 2014 in NIAAA Spectrum, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism explains the dangers associated with having a high alcohol threshold. Chief among these dangers is an increased chance of developing diagnosable symptoms of alcohol abuse and/or alcoholism (both included as indications of a condition called alcohol use disorder).
In the U.S., college students have an unusually high drinking rate, as well as an unusually high level of involvement in at-risk behaviors that increase the odds for alcohol-related harm. Some alcohol consumers come to self-identify themselves as “drinkers.” In a study published in July 2014 in the journal Addictive Behaviors, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health sought to identify the impact that the establishment of such a drinking identity has on the underlying motivations of college students who consume enough alcohol to qualify as heavy drinkers.