Your Money's Worth
Your Money's Worth

Doling out thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on a college education is a daunting milestone, whether you’re a student or a parent. And since it’s such an expensive venture, you’ll want to make sure you get the most out of your money. In addition to researching academic programs, that could also mean taking a hard look at a school’s social scene. Especially considering about 28% of college dropouts are the result of alcohol abuse, according to the Teen Drug Rehab Treatment Centers. Additionally, more than 599,000 college kids get hurt every year from drinking, and 1,700 as a result of general debauchery, according to CBS Moneywatch. If you have any concern about your investment in a college education or you’re generally worried about alcohol abuse in college, here are some important facts. Photo Credit: kerryvaughan

Living Arrangements
Living Arrangements

College kids’ drinking habits depend largely on where they live, notes the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Not surprisingly, the agency says that fraternity and sorority members drink the most. After that, students who live in dorms are most likely to drink. Students who live off campus, but not with their parents drink less, and those who live with their parents drink least of all, according to the government agency. Additionally, students living in co-ed dormitories are more than twice as likely to binge drink, according to a recent study. Photo Credit: jmbone

Athletics and Alcoholism
Athletics and Alcoholism

Not only is excessive alcohol consumption found in schools where greek systems dominate, but schools where athletics play an important role have comparatively large numbers of student drinkers, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Schools in the Northeastern United States have more drinkers than average also. Photo Credit: MonsterPhotoISO

First-Year Students
First-Year Students

Students who are getting their first taste of freedom might be thirsting for the taste of alcohol as well, especially if they didn’t drink as much as their peers during high school, according to the agency.  But too much drinking can interfere in a student’s adjustment to college life, hurt grades and make your college kid more likely to be one of the nearly third of all college dropouts who leave school because of alcohol abuse. Binging may be most likely to occur in the first few weeks of college, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism notes, but the first six weeks of school are critical to a successful college career. Photo Credit: Symic

Least Likely Drinkers
Least Likely Drinkers

Despite what you might see on TV or in movies, college drinking isn’t as widespread as you might think. There are actually some groups that aren’t particularly likely to drink. These include students who go to two-year colleges, religious colleges, schools in which most students commute and students who attend historically black colleges and universities, according to the Institute. Photo Credit: Zach Alexander

Heavy Drinkers
Heavy Drinkers

In addition to fraternity and sorority members, athletes and college freshmen, heavy drinkers tend to be male and Caucasian. Beyond those basics, family history of alcohol abuse, personal beliefs and personalities, and alcohol accessibility are also factors that contribute to risky drinking habits. Photo Credit: RileyRox

Compared to Peers
Compared to Peers

While fewer rules exist for college students living off campus than those in dorms, research shows that kids within the same age group living in college residence halls actually drink more heavily than students in off-campus housing, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Photo Credit: juanpol

Collateral Damage
Collateral Damage

Even if your child doesn’t take part in drunken college dorm shenanigans, drinking among peers could affect study time and sleep and even lead to sexual harassment, assault and property damage, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. So even if you know your child is responsible, consider the fact that reckless peers could hinder your kid's education as well. Photo Credit: rileyroxx

Consequences After College
Consequences After College

While one’s learning and partying environment may change upon graduation, binge drinking doesn’t necessarily stop there. "Frequent, excessive drinking during college increases the prospects for continuing problems with alcohol and participation in other 'health-compromising or illegal behaviors,'" the Institute notes. However, participation in a fraternity or sorority doesn’t necessarily mean a student will continue high-risk drinking behaviors either. Photo Credit: openDemocracy

Decision Making
Decision Making

Many schools do have programs that can help identify drinking problems on campus and students and other community members can intervene when a student is particularly at risk for dangerous behavior. Most importantly, talk to your kids about these issues before and during their college careers. Maybe start by forwarding them this article. Photo Credit: openfly

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