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Sobering Facts

FAQ's on College of Charleston Student Substance Abuse  (pdf)

Recent research from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism found that among college students and other 18- to 24-year-olds, binge drinking (generally defined as 5 or more drinks for men, or 4 or more for women, in about 2 hours) and, in particular, driving while intoxicated (DWI), have increased since 1998. The number of students who reported DWI increased from 2.3 million students to 2.8 million. The number of alcohol-related deaths also have increased. In 2001, there were an estimated 1,700 alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths among students 18–24, an increase of 6 percent among college students (that is, per college population) since 1998. In addition, it is estimated that each year, more than 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking, and more than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.  Clearly, alcohol-related problems on campus remain a significant concern.

 In a recent survey,  19% of college students aged 18-24 met the mental health diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence (alcoholism).  Only 5% of these students actually sought treatment in the year prior to the survey, while another 3% thought they needed help but did not seek it.  This study emphasizes the point that those who drink in a dangerous way (to themselves and others) do not get the help they need, often waiting for catastrophic circumstances, "hitting bottom" to realize they need help.

Everybody Drinks Myth:  Well the reseach shows that they actually don't, and of those that do, only a few drink excessively.  Of 18 - 20 year olds, 49% don't drink, 27% drink 1 - 4 drinks when they drink, and only 24% drink 5+ drinks - a sizeable (and noisy) group, but hardly "everybody."  To further pull your excuse out from under you, national surveys recently found that alcohol use has continued to decline among high school seniors (next year's college freshmen).  Only 41% drink anything at all, and binge drinking has decreased to 23%. (National Institute on Drug Abuse's 2010 Monitoring the Future Survey)