The Effect of Alcohol on College Students

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The Effect of Alcohol on College Students

This essay will examine the impact of alcohol consumption on college students. It will discuss its effects on academics, health, and social behavior. You can also find more related free essay samples at PapersOwl about Addiction.

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Alcohol abuse among college students has become a major issues and concern. In society today Alcohol abuse in college student are increasing tremendously, this is due to the fact that everyone wants to experience what it is like to be tipsy. With College having different age ranges alcohol abuse is drastically increasing because a lot of people believe that college is stressful, and alcohol is the only way to cope with the stress. Alcohol is an ingrediencies that is found in many beers whine and sprit, which can cause a person to be intoxicated, which can lead to drunkenness.

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Alcohol is so dangerous it can slow down our vital functions which can cause us to loss our balance, have slurred speech and causes the inability to react to thing quickly. Alcohol tends to affect a person mind and the way they think for example, a female who is intoxicated may make some poor decision as compare to went she is not intoxicated. It is okay for an individual of age to Consume a small amount of alcohol, but sometimes people tend to overdo which can lead to the abusing of alcohol.

To abuse Alcohol means to constantly engaging in the over consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is mostly abused on college campus, due to frequent parties thrown by other student without the supervision of an older adult, this causes them to drink carelessly and irresponsibly. In this essay I would be discussing the causes and effects of alcohol Abuse, intervention, prevents, solutions, Family history Racial Differences in Alcohol. In order to fully Understand Alcohol Abuse among College Students a person must first understand what the driven force behind a person actions is, and we know that the driven force is mainly stress, peer pressure , family problems and depression, this is due to the fact that students have to dedicate most of their time to studying and taking exams which can bring a toll on the body for example, I have noticed college students drinking more frequently around finals week , for example my friends tents to drink more frequently during this time. College students have a higher rate of alcohol abuse than the general population.

The main purpose of this article “Understanding Alcohol Abuse among College Students: Contributing Factors and Strategies for Intervention” by Iconis, Rosemary. This article discusses the understanding of alcohol Abuse among college students, in this article a study was carried out by Harvard school of Public health examined the behavior of college students. “College Alcohol Study (CAS), consisted of a series of nationwide surveys of approximately 140 institutions of higher education across the United States with 17,592 responses. The CAS found that 44% of students reported binge drinking, which consists of five or more drinks in one sitting for men, and four for women, and almost half of those who were frequent binge drinkers. Frequent binge drinkers were ten times more likely than non-binge drinkers to report trouble with campus police, damage to property, injuries, and unplanned, unprotected sex. The rate of binge drinking among college students has hardly changed”. (Rosemary ,2014).

There are many different factors Associated with Alcohol abuse in college for example, individual, environmental and demographic factors which are associated with the risk of alcohol abuse. “Among college students, individuals are faced with multiple factors that can contribute to alcohol abuse for example a family history of alcoholism, peer pressure and not forgetting, participation in athletics events for example, Football, basketball, baseball, and track and field, are associated with alcohol use. Environmental factors that influence alcohol use among college students include the college size, the distance of bars and clubs and availability of alcohol.” (Rosemary. 2014) a lot of college students consider heavy drinking of alcohol to be a norm part of their college experience. They are also a lot of reasons why students consume alcohol for example wanting to fit in with their peers , being a part of a college athletic team and trying to live up to certain expectations for their peers, another example is getting an injury and being stressed that you won’t be able to continue the season can lead to Alcohol abuse.

“Schools that are known as “party schools” have a reputation as the school popular school where students can binge drink with few consequences. Alcohol consumption during 21st birthday celebrations and pre-gaming drinking before entering a stadium during sporting events have been associated with excessive alcohol consumption” (Rosemary 2014). Bars dance clubs and parties gives students the urge to drink alcohol and use other substances, for example, illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine or other illicit drugs.

In the second articles Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Related Consequences Among College Students by (Aaron White, Ph.D., and Ralph Hingson, Sc.D.) This article discussed the danger of consuming alcohol. Alcohol leads to high health risk factors, injuries, sexual assault, memory lost, overdose, blackout, assault and even death. “Several studies indicate that crossing commonly used binge-drinking thresholds increases a college student’s risk of experiencing negative alcohol-related consequences. For instance, data from the Harvard CAS indicate that students who binge one or two times during a 2-week period are roughly three times as likely as non–binge drinkers to get behind in school work, do something regretful while drinking, experience a memory blackout, have unplanned sex, fail to use birth control during sex, damage property, get in trouble with police, drive after drinking, or get injured”.( White, Hingson, 2013). They are multiple stories of college school students getting into accidents due to drunk driving and, in most cases, drunk drinking ends in fatality. A lot of families are hurting and suffering due to the reckless drinking and driving by college students.

In the third article “Alcohol abuse prevention programs in college students” by (Ickes, Melinda J.; Haider, Taj; Sharma, Manoj). This article discussed ways of intervention to prevent alcohol abuse in college students. Some of the current intervention methods targeting alcohol abused in college students are different for each college.

“Motivational Interventions are the most common and most empirically tested type of alcohol-related programming for college students Generally, BMI consists of one or two sessions lasting from 10 to 60 min providing subjects with a personalized consultation based on their baseline assessment. This individualized consultation can include information on decisional balance, readiness to change, goal setting, and/or a discussion on social norms. Additionally, these sessions can be taught by a trained graduate student or a licensed clinical psychologist. (Melinda, Taj, Manoj 2015).

Another approach, parent-based interventions (PBI), which includes the parents as a focal point. Parent based interventions is usually administered before their children attends their first year of college, when they are still living at home with their parents, the parents are able to provide guidance for their long children that are about the go to college , where they are to meet thousands of other students their age and even older, PBI focuses on prevention and early intervention, as opposed to other forms of alcohol interventions that focus on treatment. Before a student starts college as a freshman a handbook are sent home to parents or guardians “They are asked to read the handbook thoroughly and fill out an evaluation to submit to researchers. The handbooks focus on skill-building, communication skills surrounding alcohol, and strategies for parents to help college students to avoid risky situations”. (Melinda, Taj, Manoj 2015). The different amount of intervention strategies available for alcohol prevention on college campuses, helps to determine a current effective strategies, regarding the general college population. They should be more classes and programs that are mandatory for college students to take in order to advise them of the consequences of alcohol abuse. I remember taking a class called alcohol education in high school and I was able to learn so much from the documentary. The documentary made me very aware of the effect that Alcohol has on a person and mainly how it makes a person’s ability to function difficult. When some of the interventions that the school created in this article it does show that rate of alcohol abused is decreasing. Female has a lower rate of Alcohol abused that men. The article concluded that the intervention of alcohol programs helps college students in many ways in order to limit the amount of alcohol they drink.

In the fourth article by Addictive Behavior of Full-time Students at Masaryk University and Options in Its Prevention by (Kachli?k, Petr) The use of alcoholic beverages by teens is one of the serious long-term issues. Since 2007, incidence of regular beer and spirits drinking among boys and wines and spirits among girls has increased. Frequent heavy drinking which consist of five or more glasses of alcohol three times or more within the last 30 days was admitted by 21% of students in 2011 (27% of boys and 16% of girls); the growth was apparent particularly among boys (Petr,2015). They are a lot of ways to prevent alcohol for example, not keeping alcohol or allowing Alcohol on campus and parents should also not keep Alcohol at home making it easy for their children to access it. College students should also know their limits when it comes to consuming alcohol. College students should always be around peers that are not bad influences on their life, they should try to associate themselves with friends who don’t drink. If college students feel like they are not able to control the amount of alcohol they consume they should seek help which means finding a support group and talking about ways to help each other to get over alcohol abuse. If the groups are not able to help them and they are still turning to Alcohol they should consider Enroll in a treatment program or a rehibition center to get the help they need.

In article five “Racial Differences in Alcohol Use and Abuse Among College Students,” a new study on racial differences in drinking behaviors by American college students, authored by a team of researchers at Florida State University. The study confirms that African-American college students are far less likely than white students to drink alcoholic beverages. Evidence shows that white students tents to have three or four more drinkers than a African American students. “The results of the study, which involved a detailed survey of more than 1,100 students, found that on average whites drank alcohol slightly more than four days a month. African-American college students consumed alcohol on less than three days each month. And when they did drink alcohol, whites were far more likely than blacks to consume a large quantity. When asked how many drinks they had the last time they partied, whites reported an average of 5.39 drinks. Blacks on average had 2.43 drinks. Whites reported binge drinking having five or more alcoholic drinks at one sitting 2.61 times per month.” (journal of Blacks in Higher Education, 2004).

In the book” Family history of alcohol abuse associated with problematic drinking among college students by “(Joseph W. LaBrie, Savannah Migliuri, Shannon R. , Kenney Andrew Lac). “This article discussed the links between family history of alcohol abuse among college students. The current report investigates family history of alcohol abuse and its relationships with alcohol , consumption and consequence and the study found that college students that comes from a family history of alcohol abuse was reported as more higher alcohol abusers, rather than college students that did not come from an alcohol addiction family”. ( LaBrie, Migliuri, Lac,2010). College students that comes from a family that has a history of alcohol abuse does not view drinking as a problem, because they watch various family’s members drink frequently so they don’t see it as a big deal.

In the book, “College Campuses Should Regulate Alcohol Abuse” by (Gruenewald, Paul Saltz, Robert). This book discussed the issues that college campuses are facing due to students abusing alcohol, Reports of alcohol-related tragedies are increasing once again on college campuses. “In October 2004 it was the Harvard University student convicted of manslaughter for stabbing a restaurant worker in a fight following a night of drinking, and two Marshall University football players accused of assaulting a woman in a bar”. ( Paul, Robert ,2007). The book also explained that a student from the University of Delaware was struck and killed by a train on her way home from a fraternity party after she had a blood alcohol concentration three times the legal limit. “A Colorado State University student was found dead Saturday December 11, 2004 in an apparent alcohol-related incident. CSU recently formed a task force on drinking after another student’s death in September 2004. Police said the 19-year-old woman had consumed some 40 beers that evening”. ( Paul, Robert ,2008). College students are at a higher risk for alcohol related problems because they have high rates of heavy consumption, college students tend to drink more recklessly than others, and are heavily targeted by advertising and promotions of the alcoholic beverage industry. Students spend approximately $4.2 billion annually to purchase 430 million gallons of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol is associated with missed classes and poor performance on tests and projects. The number of alcoholic drinks consumed per week is clearly related to lower GPAs.( Paul, Robert, 2008)

In the book The Unforeseen Consequences of Drinking by Snyder Gail , this book discussed the consequences that college students can faced after consuming a lot of alcohol and not knowing the danger that it can cause on the body and brain function. According to Snyder Gail “Teens who drink may also find themselves coping with alcohol dependence, pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual violence, depression, and suicidal thoughts. A 1989 report on teenage suicide prepared by the U.S. Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration tracked cases involving young suicide victims over a period of 10 years and concluded that youths who abused drugs and alcohol were up to eight times more likely to kill themselves than youths who didn’t drink or take drugs” ( Gail, 2004)

In the book “Colleges Should Promote Tougher Policies Against Alcohol Abuse” by (Wechsler, Henry , Nelson, Toben ,Weitzman, Elissa, R). This book explains why colleges should promote tougher alcohol consequences to the abusers for example, Colleges must protect their students from these negative effects of alcohol. One in eight non-binge-drinking students nationwide reported being assaulted physically or having personal property destroyed due to student’s alcohol intake. The everyday effects of binge drinking interrupt the ability for the brain to process information and also making the process of higher education harder.

In conclusion, after reading the articles and books I was able to get a better understanding on why college students seek Alcohol in order to cope with stress and anxiety. The articles and books give excellent consequences that college students face when they abuse alcohol. The excessive amount of alcohol that one can consume can cause a lot of danger to one’s brain and body balance. Alcohol slows down the heart rate; excessive amount of alcohol can also cause alcohol poisoning. The book College Student Alcohol Abuse: A Guide to Assessment, Intervention, and Prevention by Christopher J. Correia , James G. Murphy , Nancy P. Barnett. This book gives a lot of important information how the danger of heavy drinkers impacts there life and their families. Also, there was some intervention and prevention that was mentioned that one can follow in order to prevent alcohol abuse. seeks help is the best way to get over alcohol addiction in college students.


  1. Iconis, R. (2014). Understanding Alcohol Abuse among College Students: Contributing Factors and Strategies for Intervention. Contemporary Issues in Education Research, 7(3), 243–248.
  2. White, A., & Hingson, R. (2013). The burden of alcohol use: excessive alcohol consumption and related consequences among college students. Alcohol Research: Current Reviews, (2), 201
  3. Ickes, M. J., Haider, T., & Sharma, M. (2015). Alcohol abuse prevention programs in college students. Journal of Substance Use, 20(3), 208–227.
  4. Kachli?k, P. (2016). Addictive Behavior of Full-time Students at Masaryk University and Options in Its Prevention (Vol. 1st edition)
  5. LaBrie, J. W. . jlabrie@lmu. ed., Migliuri, S. smigliur@lmu. ed., Kenney, S. R. . S. kenney@lmu. ed., & Lac, A. andrew. lac@cgu. ed. (2010). Family history of alcohol abuse associated with problematic drinking among college students. Addictive Behaviors, 35(7), 721–725.
  6. Racial Differences in Alcohol Use and Abuse among College Students. (2004). The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, (44).
  7. Gruenewald, P., & Saltz, R. (2007). College Campuses Should Regulate Alcohol Abuse. In R. D. Lankford (Ed.), At Issue. Alcohol Abuse. Detroit, MI: Greenhaven Press. (Reprinted from Christian Science Monitor, 2004, December 14) .
  8. Snyder, G. (2004). Chapter 4: The Unforeseen Consequences of Drinking. Teens & Alcohol, 15.
  9. Wechsler, H., Nelson, T., & Weitzman, E. R. (2003). Colleges Should Promote Tougher Policies Against Alcohol Abuse. Gale.
  10. Correia, C. J., Murphy, J. G., & Barnett, N. P. (2012). College student alcohol abuse: A guide to assessment, intervention, and prevention. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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The Effect of Alcohol on College Students. (2021, May 10). Retrieved from