Recently, the Princeton Review published the “Top 20 Party Schools” and “Top 20 Sober Schools” in the nation.
These lists provide insight into the unique pressures that young adult college students face, particularly when experiencing newfound independence, including facing an extreme desire to fit in. As a result, nearly all students are affected by college drinking, whether or not they actively partake in it. The consequences of excessive drinking can negatively impact not only the person consuming it, but also those around him or her.
It is estimated that four out of five college students drink alcohol, and about half of college students who drink engage in binge drinking. The following college drinking statistics are just some of many consequences associated with top party schools and binge drinking:
- 1,825 students die every year as a result of unintentional, alcohol-related injuries.
- Over 690,000 students are assaulted by a student under the influence of alcohol.
- More than 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
- Over 600,000 students receive unintentional injuries as a result of alcohol consumption.
- More than 150,000 students develop alcohol-related health conditions and nearly 1.5% of students admit to attempting suicide because of drug or alcohol use.
- About 25% of college students fail, miss class or receive lower grades as a result of alcohol use.
In light of these alarming statistics, there are many resources available for students who struggle with and/or are affected by excessive alcohol consumption.
- Student Health Center — Many colleges offer programs for students who receive alcohol violations or visit the emergency room for alcohol-related incidents. These programs provide them a non-judgmental environment for students to explore their alcohol use and assess the risks and consequences associated with excessive drinking. The programs are designed to help students decrease their use and reduce the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Student Health Centers can also serve as a form of intervention for those who display high-risk behaviors.
- Guidance Center — Guidance Centers offer a variety of services including private counseling and group services. Some colleges may offer peer-to-peer counseling or may have a professional on-site. Guidance Centers can provide students with assistance in identifying and coping with stressors and triggers that may encourage alcohol abuse.
- Collegiate Recovery Communities (CRC) — These communities provide young adults recovering from addiction with support services and a safe, sober environment in which to pursue academic interests. Students in these programs have peer support and their recovery is reinforced through regular meetings, 12-step programs and other resources that enable personal and academic growth.
- 12-Step Meetings — 12-Step Meetings provide individuals with a structured plan for recovery. Individuals enrolled in a 12-step program are surrounded by a group of individuals who are all working towards the same goal and are supported through regular meetings. In many cases, participants will have sponsors to assist them throughout their journey.
- Sober Dorms — Sober dorms provide students with a safe environment in which to live while they progress academically. These dorms house similarly aged students who are recovering from addiction. There is no tolerance for drugs or alcohol on the premises and students are required to stay sober while living there.
College is an exciting time for many young adults. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol consumption is too often portrayed as a necessary component of the college experience and can lead young adults astray. All colleges – regardless of their ranking on the Princeton Review – experience the adverse effects associated with college drinking. And while the statistics point to the alarming effects of alcohol-induced behaviors, solutions are available. Providing students with a plethora of resources and help guides to support sobriety is critical in combating the negative consequences of excessive drinking on – and off – college campuses.