Alcohol use in the United States and in the rest of the world is a very common practice. Among people older than 12 years old 51.9% have used alcohol. The habit of drinking heavily over several days has increase among college students in the last decades. From 1990 to 2000 there was a decline in the binge drinking practice, but it resurfaced to its previous rate from 2001 to the present time (Gealt, Gunter, Martin, O’Connell and Visher, 2010). This kind of activity, known as binge drinking, can be defined as the consumptions of five or more drinks in a row for a man and 4 or more drinks to a woman (Nemours Foundation, 2014).
A study conducted by the University of Delaware reveals alarming statistics about this habit (Gealt, Gunter, Martin, O’Connell and Visher, 2010). Statistics gathered by this study indicates that this practice is most common among senior (64%) and junior (62%) of the college students. Binge drinkers accounts to be twice as likely as non binge drinkers and males are more binge drinkers than females. The key findings of that study can be summarized as follow (Gealt, Gunter, Martin, O’Connell and Visher, 2010):
1. 78% of college students reports drinking alcohol during the last 3 months before the study was conducted.
2. 2 out of 3 of those students who admits drinking while studying in college also admits to be binge drinkers.
3. 1 out of 5 students admits driving under influence of alcohol or drugs.
4. Binge drinkers are more likely to be involved in dangerous conducts like having sex unprotected, be victims of robbery, assault and sexual assault.
5. Unprotected sex among binge drinkers is as twice more than in non binge drinkers and abstainers.
6. Males binge drinkers has a 49% of unprotected sex compared with a 44% in females.
As what happen with other addictions and behavioral problems, the abuse or heavy use of alcohol among college students has common reasons. College life exposed our students to new experiences and activities without the constant supervision of their parents. Also, access to bars, liquor stores and pubs make the drinking habit appealing and fun (Nemours Foundation, 2014). Another reason why our students decide to adopt this behavior is because of the stress the studies put over their shoulders, as well as peer pressure (Nemours Foundation, 2014). Other reasons that can be accounted to heavy drinking are: (1) curiosity, (2) false belief that drinking would make them feel good and (3) they want to feel older (Nemours Foundation, 2014).
Students start this new habit under false pretenses having good, fun and risky experiences. What they did not realize are the short and long term negative effects of their conduct. Most of the students like the feeling of been drunk, but they did not give much consideration to the aftermath of drunkenness: the next day hangover, vomits, headaches, nausea, dizziness and craving.
On the other hand, as Paulo understood that driving and drinking does not mix, there are other dangerous consequences of heavy drinking that most students did not know. Heavy drinking can lead the person to lack of concentration, memory lapses, mood changes, changes in personality, risky and irresponsible behaviors, depression, sadness, disinterest in common activities, lack of interest toward school, negative attitudes, problems with completing a job or assignment, lack of concentration, poor academic record, absenteeism, behavioral problems, among other (Brizuela, Fernández y Murillo, 2009).
In terms of physical or health issues that can arouse from heavily drinking the most common are: fatigue, poor health condition, red and brightened eyes, vomits, nausea. Nevertheless there is very dangerous effect of heavy drinking that we thought is not so common, but in reality their effects are devastating. Alcohol poisoning is a life threatening condition that can result from binge drinking (Nemours Foundation, 2014). The most