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Statistics on College Drinking

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences
Source: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Web: www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/facts/snapshot.aspx .

The consequences of excessive and underage drinking affect virtually all college campuses, college communities, and college students, whether they choose to drink or not.

  • Death: 1,400 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes (2002).
  • Injury: 500,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol (2002).
  • Assault: More than 600,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking (2002).
  • Sexual abuse: More than 70,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape (2002).
  • Unsafe sex: 400,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 had unprotected sex and more than 100,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they consented to having sex (2002).
  • Academic problems: About 25% of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall (1996, 2002).
  • Health problems/suicide attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem (2002) and between 1.2% and 1.5% of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use (1998).
  • Drunk driving: 2.1 million students between the ages of 18 and 24 drove under the influence of alcohol last year (2002).
  • Vandalism: About 11% of college student drinkers report that they have damaged property while under the influence of alcohol (2002).
  • Property damage: More than 25% of administrators from schools with relatively low drinking levels and over 50% from schools with high drinking levels say their campuses have a "moderate" or "major" problem with alcohol-related property damage (1995).
  • Police involvement: About 5% of 4-year college students are involved with the police or campus security as a result of their drinking and an estimated 110,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are arrested for an alcohol-related violation such as public drunkenness or driving under the influence (2002).
  • Alcohol abuse and dependence: 31% of college students met criteria for a diagnosis of alcohol abuse and 6% for a diagnosis of alcohol dependence in the past 12 months, according to questionnaire-based self-reports about their drinking (2002).

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