Binge Drinking Presentation - current

Risk Factors associated with
Binge Drinking Amongst
College Students
Daniel Canales, Crystal Garcia,
Antonio Mendez, Erika Barajas
According to reports binge drinking is the number one
public health concern on college campuses nationwide.
This behavior is related to lower grade point averages,
academic problems, student attrition, and the leading
cause of death among college students (Vohs, 2008).
It is estimated “about four in five of all college students
drink, including nearly 60 percent of students age 18 to
20” (NIAAA, n.d.)
According National Institute of Alcohol Abuse
and Alcoholism (NIAAA) “A “binge” is a
pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood
alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grampercent or above. For a typical adult, this pattern
corresponds to consuming 5 or more drinks
(male), or 4 or more drinks (female), in about 2
hours” (NIAAA, 2007).
Binge drinking does not stem from just one
factor but several. This can include genetic and
family predisposition, social and peer influences,
college traditions, uncontrolled policy
environments and the easy availability of alcohol
in and around college campuses (College
Alcohol Study, n.d.).
Binge drinking is of great concern because it is
tied to some of the most desired aspects of
American college life.
Many factors contribute to the high prevalence
of binge drinking among college students,
making binge drinking a major health concern
for colleges and universities nationwide.
Social Organizations
Social fraternities and sororities play a
prominent role in the lives of U.S. college
Anecdotal evidence of problem drinking at
fraternity events abounds. Data confirm that
fraternity members drink more intensively
than do non-members. In the NCHRBS,
past month binge drinking, defined as
consuming at least five alcoholic beverages
within a few hours, was reported by 69% of
fraternity members as compared with 42%
of non-members.
The main activity with which fraternities are
associated with is alcohol use.
Fraternity parties
(DeSimone, 2007)
Social Organizations
College Game day
Empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that drinking is a common occurrence on
game day.
 Data from the fall 2004 National College Health Assessment indicate that
approximately 31% of women and 44% of men engage in high-risk drinking
 A unique challenge concerning high-risk drinking on US campuses is college football
game day. Research indicates that sports fans are less likely to abstain from alcohol and
more likely to drink excessively than are non-sports fans.
 Students underestimated the percentage of tailgaters who drank but overestimated
how much they drank. Students who overestimated the number of drinks their peers
consumed while tailgating were more likely to drink and experience negative
consequences themselves on game day.
(Glassman, Werch et al. 2007)
Early Alcohol Initiation
Does it increase risk of binge drinking
in college?
investigated the influence of age of alcohol
initiation on current alcohol use and alcohol-related
problems among college students.
attitudes toward drinking in early adolescence
carry into college experience.
described early alcohol initiation as alcohol use
before the age of 15. Although there is some debate on
age range.
(LaBrie, Rodrigues et al. 2007)
Early Alcohol Initiation Study
College student sample: From two universities in
Western United States. N=214
 Subjects recruited through Psychology courses.
 Questionnaire
 Age Range: 17-24 (Average Age: 20.66 yrs)
 35% Male, 66% Female
 26% Caucasian, 40% Asian, 24% Hispanic, 2% African
American, 8% Mixed
 20% in Fraternity or Sorority
(LaBrie, Rodrigues et al. 2007)
Study Results
Participants split into age of initiation groups.
First had more than a few sips of alcohol:
 Early
alcohol initiation group: before age 15. (40%)
 Middle
alcohol initiation group: between15 and 17.
 Late
alcohol initiation group: after age 18. (19%)
(LaBrie, Rodrigues et al. 2007)
Study Results
Early Initiators drank more frequently and consumed
significantly more alcohol per occasion then middle or
late initiators.
Early Initiators were ~3x more likely than middle
initiators and >2x as likely as late initiators to avg 5 or
more drinks per drinking occasion (binge drinking).
(LaBrie, Rodrigues et al. 2007)
Working More Than 20 hrs/wk
Study investigated “associations between hours worked,
binge drinking, sleep habits, and academic performance
among a college student cohort”.
~57% college students work while in school.
Suggests working during college may be problematic
when college students work excessive # of hours,
resulting in undesirable influences on health.
Excessive # of hours: 20 or more per week
(Miller, Danner et al. 2008)
Working More Than 20 hrs/wk
College student sample: Southeastern US
Age Range: 18-26 (Average Age: 20.2 yrs)
61% Female
91% Caucasian (Not Diverse)
27% in Fraternity or Sorority
(Miller, Danner et al. 2008)
Study Results
Students’ weekly work hours were divided into 3 categories
 Low (<10 hours)
 Medium (10-19 hours)
 High (≥20 hours)
Students who worked 20+ hrs/wk were 1.56 x more likely to be
binge drinkers.
Binge drinking and lower academic performance were
significantly associated with working 20+ hrs/wk
(Miller, Danner et al. 2008)
Study Results
Researchers speculate that unhealthy behaviors may be
a response to the added stress of working excessive
Study limitations:
Cross-sectional (Could not determine causality)
 Self-reported behaviors & demographics
 Response rate of <60%. Validity?
 Specific to student population at one university in one
geographic region so may not be generalizable.
(Miller, Danner et al. 2008)
Intervention programs
*Do intervention programs prevent binge
*Where do students go for information?
*Do campus’ without programs have the
same issues with binge drinking?
Where are the target areas for Binge Drinking
College Characteristics
A number of environmental influences working in
concert with other factors may affect students'
alcohol consumption.
Schools where excessive alcohol use is more likely
to occur include:
Schools where Greek systems dominate (i.e.,
fraternities, sororities)
Schools where athletic teams are prominent
Schools located in the Northeast
First-Year Students:
The first 6 weeks of enrollment are critical to firstyear student success
*the potential exists for excessive alcohol
consumption to interfere with successful adaptation
to campus life.
* The transition to college is often so difficult to
negotiate that about one-third of first-year students
fail to enroll for their second year.
National Organizations assisting Universities with educating
incoming students
*MADD-Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
*NIAAA-National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
*Trained Peer Counselors (require
considerable amount of training)(2)
While many Universities have counselors on hand
to handle many situations, Binge drinking remains
one of major concerns with incoming freshman
*Nationwide , Universities have mandatory Alcohol
Awareness classes that must be taken by all
incoming Freshman.
*Local Universities each set up their own form of
intervention/education on drinking.
•This is a symbol used by UTSA.
•Just what is the meaning of this symbol?
*All incoming freshman and transfer students
with less that 30 credits must enroll and take
both parts within the allotted time.
*According to ASAP, failure to enroll or
complete both parts can lead to a hold on
your account.
SHADES Peer Education
Sexual Health Alcohol and Drug Education for Students
Located in UTSA Health Services web page.
Discuss alcohol, drugs and sex
Dorms can schedule briefings in their dorms
* No evidence was found to justify an abundance of
binge drinkers on campus would be increased
without programs on campus.
As part of their prevention programs, US colleges
and universities are required by law to make
information about their alcohol policies available to
students. Often the source of this information is the
school's Web site.
Community establishments near and around
campus serve or sell alcohol, which depend on
the college clientele for their financial success.
Accessibility of Alcohol in and around campuses
College students who reported that they were exposed to
wet environments were more likely to engage in binge
drinking than were their peers without similar
exposures(Weitzman, 2007).
Discount pricing of alcohol in bars and stores, and high
densities of alcohol outlets in areas surrounding colleges
are risk factors associated with college binge drinking.
Alcohol consumption increases as establishments and
alcohol outlets use various discounts and promotions to
attract college students.
“College students are targeted with sales of large volumes of
alcohol (such as 24- and 30-can cases of beer, kegs, and “party
balls”), low sale prices, and frequent alcohol promotions at
bars, liquor stores, and other retail outlets surrounding college
campuses” (Meichum K., Wechsler, H., Greenberg, P., Hang,
L., 2003)
Daily drink specials and “happy hours” at local restaurants and bars, as
well as reduced prices of beer in stores during sporting events and
holidays. In a study that measured taking up binge drink in college;
results showed, students who reported paying one dollar or less for a
drink were considerably more likely to begin binge drinking than were
students who reported paying more than a dollar per drink (Weitzman,
During one study it was found that “both heavy and light drinkers
drank more than twice as much alcohol during simulated “happy
hours” as they did during times without such promotions” (Meichum
K., Wechsler, H., Greenberg, P., Hang, L., 2003).
Students will seek out the best drink specials and cheap alcohol that is
most convenient and closest to them for the alcohol needs.
As it has been in the past and still is today, college drinking
has become a culture, where these traditions have developed
into beliefs and customs that are entrenched in every level of
college students’ environments. Customs which have been
handed down through generations of college drinkers and
reinforce students’ expectations that alcohol is a necessary
ingredient for social success. These traditions are embedded
in all levels of students’ environments including college sports
arenas, community, and carried over into alumni traditions.
The risks and consequences of binge drinking on college
students are monumental and must be addressed more
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Vivian B. Faden is chief of the Epidemiology Branch, Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Institute on Alcohol
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