This is the first nationally representative survey of its kind and the analysis of its outcome by the authors of this article has resulted in seemingly sound prevention ideas. To begin interpreting the binge drinking phenomenon, a solid understanding of the term must be presented. Binge drinking is defined by all the articles as consuming five or more drinks in rapid succession (four or more for women) at least once in a two week period. Shockingly, the College Alcohol Study (CAS) found that two out of every five college students binge drink. The authors of this article argue that binge drinking has negative effects not only on the drinkers, but also on the entire student body. The binge drinker might get alcohol poisoning, other related physical injuries, or weakened academic performance, while the non-binging students are subjected to insults, arguments, vandalism, physical and sexual assaults, and loss of sleep due to alcohol influenced peers.
The next topic that the article gets into is the different areas that change need be made to lessen the presence of binge drinking and ways in which these changes might be made. The first idea presented is that simply educating students about alcohol abuse and related problems is not effective. The CAS shows that four out of five students have been exposed to anti-alcohol education and still two out of these five binge drink, let alone drink at all. In fact, Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman state that most members of predominant binge drinking groups like athletes and Greek organizations openly admit to being educated in this area. These findings display how ineffective alcohol education on college campuses is. After eliciting what not to do, the Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman show the reader what the simple numbers from the CAS suggest be done.
First they explain that the college administration has to realize that they have a lot more student support in the fight against binge drinking than they think. The CAS results showed that more than half of all college students favor more college intervention. This idea leads into the authors next one, which is the whole idea of marginalizing the serious drinkers. Serious binge drinkers are not aware of their problem and are usually very loud and vocal when protesting anti-drinking policies. These hardcore bingers however, only represent a small percent of all drinkers and an even smaller percent of the student body.
The authors suggest that steps be taken to marginalize this small group of heavy drinkers by reversing some misleading policies. Presently alcohol-free dorms are available upon request by students. Wechsler, Nelosn, and Weitzman believe that the alcohol consuming students should have to request separate dorms, not the other way around. The current method creates the illusion that most students consume alcohol and tend to quiet potential anti-alcohol advocates.
Lastly, the fact that alcohol is cheap, plentiful and easy to get in college towns creates great appeal to college students. For less than five dollars (half the price of one movie ticket) under age students can purchase enough alcohol to drink themselves silly. In the past, colleges have fought a battle against fake IDs, but now the CAS says that only one in five underage drinkers use and phony ID. The method of choice is to get beer and liquor from older students. One third of older students have been asked by underage students to provide them with alcohol, and almost all complied.
This is one student .