Binge drinking rates highest among college students, survey finds

Binge drinking is most common among college students, according to a recent survey conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

Binge drinking is defined as having five or more alcoholic drinks on a single occasion.

According to a survey about the drinking habits of people ages 19 and 20, about 24 percent reported having five or more drinks on a single occasion, 10 percent reported having 10 or more and 4 percent reported having 15 or more drinks on a single occasion in the last two weeks.

The survey found the rates of binge drinking highest among men and full-time students who don’t live with their parents.

"College attendance is associated with a freedom from adult responsibilities," said the study's lead author, Megan Patrick. "Students, if they're living with their parents, might not have the same opportunity to drink as students living on campus or in student housing."

Patrick, a research associate professor in ISR's Survey Research Center, said that for many people, drinking five or more drinks on a single occasion “didn't really resonate as problematic,” but “by reporting rates of high-intensity drinking, which is a more severe and rarer behavior, it may be possible to help college administrators boost the effectiveness of their campaigns."

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