(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The rate of alcohol abuse and binge drinking among educated young people has steadied in recent years, according to a new study based on self reporting by students at Ariel University, contrasting the work of other researchers who have claimed significantly more heavy drinking on campus.
In the Ariel University study, led by Dr. Liat Koren of its department of health systems management and Dr. Hagit Boni-Noah from the criminology department, questionnaires filled out by some 1,500 young people in 2009 were compared with a similar number answered in 2015.
Heavy drinking – defined as five servings of alcohol or more in a few hours – is very dangerous to health and can greatly damage judgment and the ability to react, especially when driving.
Comparing the sexes, Koren and Boni-Noah found that men continue to drink much more than women with about 20 percent of female students and 28.5% of male students reported having gotten drunk in 2015 – figure not very different from those in 2009.
The percentage of college students reporting that their studies suffered as a result alcohol abuse alcohol rose to 15.6% in 2015 from 9.7% in 2009, according to the study.
College students drink alcohol most often (59.8%) at pubs, bars or restaurants, with only a small minority (10.3%) drinking at parties off campus, 5.5% at parties on campus and just 3.7% in student dormitories.
Peer pressure was powerful in causing students to be involved or avoid drinking too much, it was found.
Also encouraging was the finding is that awareness about the importance of a non-drinking “designated driver” when students intended to consume alcohol increased about 15 percentage points from 60.6% to 75.6% from 2009 to 2015.