National surveys show that nearly four out of five college students are drinking on campuses in America. Half of those drinkers engage in what is referred to as binge drinking or heavy periodic drinking, according to a recent news article.
Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with a number of risks that produce consequences both short and long term. They include things such as academic problems, college attrition, alcohol abuse, unsafe sex, sexual assault, injuries, arrests and violence to name a few.
The Surgeon General has actually declared reducing alcohol intake among college students a main concern as a public health issue.
Miriam Hospital researchers say interventions that target what college students believe to be the positive effects of alcohol such as feeling bolder and relaxed inhibitions might be a way to stop college campus binge drinking.
A new report shows that social experiments or so called “alcohol expectancy challenges” that are aimed at testing students’ beliefs about the benefits of drinking can effectively reduce the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption with college students.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Lori A.J. Scott-Sheldon with the Miriam Hospital says they know the drinking habits are influenced by expectations about consuming alcohol and the liquid courage it gives you when trying to fit in or be more outgoing causing you to drink more.
Scott-Sheldon adds that if they can prove the many perceived positive outcomes of alcohol are in fact due to expectations the students have rather than the alcohol itself they can probably decrease the frequency of binge drinking and its negative consequences.
Alcohol expectancy challenges have been provided to groups in the bar setting already where some are given alcohol and others are given non-alcoholic drinks. The majority of groups had trouble determining who really had alcohol and who didn’t.