18 Facts Regarding Alcohol Use In College

College students drink – it’s a known fact. But the statistics regarding the level of intoxication in the future leaders of America seem to slip just beneath the radar. How much are you drinking? How much is everyone else drinking? Find out here.

1. Seventy-two percent of college students report that they used alcohol at least once within the 30 days prior to completing the Core survey. Within the last year, 84-percent of students report they drank alcohol.

2. Among college students under the age of 21, 82-percent report using alcohol within the past year and 69-percent report using alcohol within the last 30 days.

Check out all the stats after the jump!

3. According to a survey conducted by the Core Institute, most students who do drink, do so responsibly. On average, college students report they drink less than six drinks per week.

4. According to the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS), students more likely to binge drink are male, white, under 24 years of age, involved in athletics and residents of a fraternity or sorority. If they were binge drinkers in high school, they were three times more likely to binge drink in college.

5. Seventy-eight percent of college athletes report that they used alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days prior to completing the Core survey. Within the past year, 88-percent of student athletes report using alcohol.

6. One in five athletes believe others students drinking adversely affects their involvement on an athletic team or in other organized groups.

7. Student athletes are more often the heaviest drinkers in the overall student population. Half of college athletes (57-percent of men and 48-percent of women) are binge drinkers and experience a greater number of alcohol-related harm than other students. College athletes are also more likely than other students to say that getting drunk is an important reason for drinking. (Dying to Drink by Henry Wechsler, Ph.D.)

8. According to the Core survey, 86 percent of college students involved in the Greek system report that they used alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days prior to completing the survey. Within the past year, 93 percent of Greeks report using alcohol.

9. An overwhelming majority of college students feel drinking is a central part of the social life of both fraternities and sororities (79-percent and 72-percent, respectively. Specifically, Greek-involved students feel drinking is a central part of the social life in fraternities (88-percent) and sororities (78-percent).

10. Sixty-seven percent of college freshmen report that they used alcohol on at least one occasion in the past 30 days prior to completing the Core survey. Moreover, eight out of 10 freshmen report using alcohol within the past year.

11. On average, college freshmen report they drink more than five drinks per week (5.7 drinks). Forty-five percent of college freshmen report they engaged in binge drinking at least once during the two weeks prior to completing the study.

12. Fully one-third of freshmen students report their alcohol use has increased within the past 12 months.

13. Freshmen students who began drinking and/or reported being drunk before 16 years of age were more likely than other freshmen to binge drink in college. (Harvard’s College Alcohol Study, Journal of Adolescent Health, 2003).

14. According to Core survey, on average, female college students drink almost four drinks per week compared to their male peers who drink nine drinks per week.

15. Overall, 35-percent of college females report their alcohol use has remained about the same over the past 12 months and 22-percent their alcohol use has increased over the past year. By comparison, 33-percent of female freshmen report their alcohol use has increased and 26-percent report their use has remained about the same over the past 12 months.

16. According to the 2001 Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS), about three out of ten college students drove after drinking. Study results also indicate drinking and driving increases in direct
proportion to binge drinking. Fifty-eight percent of frequent binge drinkers, 40-percent of occasional binge drinkers and 19-percent of non-binge drinkers reported they drove after drinking.

17. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), young drivers are over represented in both alcohol- and non-alcohol traffic related fatality rates. Alcohol-related traffic fatality rates are nearly twice as great for 18-, 19- and 20-year olds as for the population over 21.

18. A young person dies in an alcohol-related traffic crash an average of once every three hours.

Percent of students who report they used alcohol in the past 30-days/past year.

Student Groups 30-Days / Past Year
All college students: 72% / 84%
Under 21: 69% / 82%
Athletes: 78% / 88%
Greeks: 86% / 93%
Freshmen: 67% / 80%
Female college students: 71% / 85%

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