College Women Especially Prone to Binge Drinking

It’s the first week of school at many colleges and universities around the nation. Now let’s be honest – you remember your college days – or at least some of them. How many people can say they attended college without attending at least one party where they got really, really drunk? Not too many!

So, it’s not surprising that studies show that college students sometimes binge drink. However, new research has been done that shows that college women are more likely to drink unhealthy amounts of alcohol on a weekly basis and do it more often than college men. And the long-term effects may be more than they bargained for, sometimes even requiring treatment for Malibu addiction recovery centers later in life.

These studies tell us a great deal about college drinking patterns and how they differ between genders.

Safe drinking limits as defined by the U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) is 3 per day or 7 per week for women and 4 per day or 14 per week for men. The limits are set to avoid physical and thinking problems that come from drinking too much in one day and to avoid increased risk for other problems such as liver disease, sleep disorders, heart disease and some cancers.

“College women adopt a drinking style that will cause toxicity soon. Overall, women drink less than men do, but they don’t seem to know how much less they should be drinking in a week,” explained Bettina Hoeppner, lead study author and an assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School.

Throughout the study, 15% of women exceeded safe drinking limits while 12% of men did. It was also noted that the men’s drinking slowed down as the school year progressed while the women’s did not. Two-thirds of both men and women exceeded the safe limits at least one time during the year. The study was done with 992 college student, 575 women and 417 men.

There are two schools of thought regarding the results:

Dr Marc Galanter, director of the division of alcoholism and drug abuse at the NYU Langone Medical Center, said he suspects that college women may be trying to drink as much as their male counterparts. “I think these young women are independent souls and are motivated to drink in a manner that’s similar to the way that men are drinking,” he said. “In terms of what’s considered normative, there isn’t much difference between men and women now.”

Dr. Hoeppner disagrees:

Hoeppner said she didn’t think that women were necessarily trying to drink as much as men, just that they might not be as aware of what’s considered a safe weekly limit.

“Women need to be reminded that there are weekly limits, and women can exceed those limits quickly. It’s important to track the number of drinks you have per week, not just on occasion. And, alcohol prevention information should address the rationale behind weekly limits,” Hoeppner suggested.

Alcoholism and drug abuse early on can mean these girls wind up having to spend time in a Malibu alcohol and drug treatment center later in life.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.