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Drinking on College Campuses

For many young people, drinking alcohol on college campuses is considered a rite of passage and part of the college experience. Often, this is a young person’s first experience with increased independence, living away from home and creating new friendships. However, excessive drinking in college has become a significant public health issue.

Statistics: Drinking on College Campuses

Parties and drinking may be viewed as a “normal” part of the college experience—but it certainly is not harmless:

  • 600,000 are injured while drunk.
  • About 20% of college students meet the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder
  • More than 1,800 students die every year of alcohol-related causes.
  • 100,000 become victims of alcohol-influenced sexual assaults.
  • One in four say that academic performance has suffered because of drinking.
  • Binge drinking rate among college students has stayed close to 40% for 20 years.
  • Higher rates of binge drinking are associated with membership in a fraternity or sorority, a belief that most students drink, and easy access to alcohol.
  • Students at schools with strong Greek systems and prominent athletic programs tend to drink more than students at other types of school.
  • Half of students had started binge drinking before they got to campus.
  • Each year, 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

Recognizing A Drinking Problem

With so many college students binge drinking, it can be hard to know whether your young adult has a problem or is simply adapting to the culture on their campus. Regardless of whether your young adult is headed down a path towards addiction, binge drinking alone can cause serious problems.


Signs of a Problem

If your young adult is displaying these signs, they may need help. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to participate fully in college life without binge drinking, and there are schools that do a great job of supporting this. For example, University of Colorado Boulder has a recovery center that provides support and community for those choosing to live substance-free.

  • Worsening academic performance
  • Missing class
  • Weight gain
  • Frequently appear/report being hungover
  • Friends are reporting concern
  • Have experienced an injury while drinking
  • Spending significant amounts of money on alcohol
  • Legal involvement such as a DUI or Minor in Possession (MIP)
  • School has taken disciplinary action related to drinking

How Sandstone Can Help

Sandstone Care works specifically with teens and young adults struggling with binge drinking, alcohol use disorder, and other substance abuse concerns. We partner with local universities to help our clients have the college experience they’ve imagined, without the destructive patterns of drug and alcohol abuse.

Online Mental Health & Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Our Virtual IOP program offers the same programming we offer in person, all online - ideal for those who live too far to drive to an addiction center, have transportation issues, or have health concerns that make in-person treatment challenging.

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