Binge Drinking Down Among College Students, Study Finds

CBS Local — The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) was concerned with the rate of drinking among college students, so it started an ongoing study into drinking in 1999. That study has provided an unexpected update in July’s issue of Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs: binge drinking in college students is actually on the decline.

The study found that the number of college students between 18 and 24 years old who binge drink is down from 45 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2014. However, the study found that for young adults in the same age group who aren’t enrolled in college, binge drinking is up from 36 percent to 40 percent.

Binge drinking is defined as five drinks or more in a given night.

“A number of factors may have contributed to the recent reduction in binge drinking and its related problems among college students,” said Ralph Hingson, study author, via MedicalXpress.

Hingson believes that binge drinking is dropping due to more knowledge being promoted through schools, as well as alcohol intervention programs.

“This expansion of the literature may have prompted more colleges to adopt a wider array of interventions,” said Hingson.

For non-college students at the same age, there aren’t the same readily available programs or education on boozing.

“Among young adults who aren’t in college, there aren’t the same organizational supports to implement interventions, and that may be contributing to why binge drinking is increasing in that group,” Hingson said.

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