Alcohol Abuse in the American Youth

Essay by DominicanOpsCollege, UndergraduateA, July 2005

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It has been said in each research source that I used that hazing and binge drinking is the most serious problem affecting social life, school work, and health on college campuses today. I got an article using Proquest, "How Harvard's College Alcohol Study Can Help Your Campus Design a Campaign Against Student Alcohol Abuse" (CAS: Campus Alcohol Study for short), focuses more heavily on binge drinking and prevention than it does on the Greek system itself. The authors, Wechsler, Nelson, and Weitzman, say that binge drinking is a nationally recognized problem but has not been studied efficiently enough to initiate effective prevention plans. The purpose of this article is to share with the public the results of a survey representing 50,000 students in 140 colleges, in 39 states. 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 or to some problem, a solid definition of the term must be explained. Binge drinking is defined as consuming five or more drinks in rapid succession (four or more for women) at least once in a two week period. Not surprisingly, the College Alcohol Study (CAS) found that two out of every five college students binge drink. The authors of the 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...