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Heavy Drinking After College

November 17th, 2014 2 comments

When one thinks of heavy drinking, one usually jumps straight to college students, due to popular culture references and stereotypes that paint college as a breeding ground for excessive alcohol consumption. Despite their stereotypical nature, these assumptions do hold some weight. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that approximately 80% of college students engage in alcohol consumption. This statistic can be seen playing out on the weekends here at Colby College, as well as at many other colleges around the country, when students put down their textbooks and start to drink. Many of them drink a lot, with approximately 50% of students who drink alcohol also engaging in binge drinking (NIAAA). Binge drinking is defined as four alcoholic drinks in two hours for women, and five alcoholic drinks in two hours for men (NIAAA). Heavy drinking, then, is when a person engages in binge drinking more than five times in a month. At Colby, it is not uncommon to hear of girls drinking over ten drinks in a night; boys, up to twenty. The effects of such risky behavior are often cited as being responsible for bad grades, poor social relationships and general unhappiness (NIAAA). Despite the repercussions of excessive drinking, many students laugh it off as “just a college thing,” and expect that they will go back to a normal, generally sober, life after graduation. But what if they don’t stop? Will the alcohol have a similar effect later in life?

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