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In this Section
- Overview of Alcohol Consumption
- Alcohol's Effects on the Body
- Alcohol Use Disorder
- Fetal Alcohol Exposure
- Support & Treatment
- Alcohol Policy
- Special Populations & Co-occurring Disorders
Virtually all college students experience the effects of college drinking – whether they drink or not.
The problem with college drinking is not necessarily the drinking itself, but the negative consequences that result from excessive drinking.
College drinking problems
College drinking is extremely widespread:
- About four out of five college students drink alcohol.
- About half of college students who drink, also consume alcohol through binge drinking.
Each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities, and families. The consequences of drinking include:
Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.
Academic Problems: 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.
Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.
Preventing Drinking in College
Research strongly suggests that prevention strategies geared towards specific groups and used in combination with each other can help reduce the frequency and quantity of college drinking. These groups include:
- Individual students
- Student body as a whole
- College and surrounding community
Read NIAAA's fact sheet: College Drinking.
- Visit NIAAA's site CollegeDrinkingPrevention.gov -- your one-stop resource for comprehensive research-based information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students.