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Binge drinking

  • Binge drinking can begin around age 13 (CDC)
  • What is a drink? A standard glass of wine is 5 ounces, a standard beer is 12 ounces, and a standard shot is 1 to 1.5 ounces.
  • What is binge drinking? For males, it is consuming five or more drinks in about a two-hour period and four or more drinks for females in a two-hour period.
  • Nationally, 1 out of 4 youth ages 18-24 engage in binge drinking (CDC, 2018)
  • In Indiana, 49% of college students age 18-21 reported consuming alcohol in the past month  (Indiana College Substance Use Survey, 2019)
  • 33% of Indiana college students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks (Indiana College Substance Use Survey, 2019)
  • First-year college students are at higher risk for drinking
  • Alcohol awareness card

Health risks

  • Alcohol poisoning leading to injury or death
  • Irregular heartbeat or heart failure
  • Vomiting/choking on your own vomit
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)
  • Hangover
  • Blacking out
  • Engaging in unprotected sex
  • Missing classes or assignments
  • Being hurt or injured because of your or others’ drinking

Long-term health risks

  • Anemia and a suppressed immune system
  • Decreased calcium absorption, leading to weak bones
  • Increased risk of anxiety and depression
  • Reduced fertility in men and women
  • Drinking while pregnant can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Malnutrition, as vitamins and nutrients are not able to be absorbed and appetite is decreased

Parent questions

  • What parents need to know about college binge drinking
  • What can a parent of college students do?
    • Know the neighborhood where your student lives at college – how many bars are in the area?
    • Do these bars have drink specials like “penny ‘til you pee” or “quarter beer”?
    • What office or department on campus can provide resources to you and your student? These are usually residence life, student wellness or counseling offices.
    • Does your student’s school have policies against underage drinking? What are the consequences for getting caught? Are parents informed?
    • What programs are in place to help your student make the best decisions about drinking?
  • Tips for parents
    • Have regular communication – set times to text or call
    • Encourage open communication on alcohol use – don’t make it a “one time” lecture
    • Contact the office that provides help and resources, if you or your student should need it
    • Make sure your student knows the signs of alcohol poisoning and what to do
    • Make sure your student has “an escape plan” if they’re at a party and want to leave