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The new variables in the college drinking culture


Drinking to excess in college goes back to the earliest days of the country, but there are some troubling new variables in the drinking culture that have experts concerned. What are they?

According to this story by my colleague Jenna Johnson:

This fall’s freshmen likely will find that the higher education tradition of excessive alcohol consumption is alive and well, but there are new variables: Energy drink mixers keep students awake and drinking longer. A historically high number of students legally take prescribed antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs, which can be dangerous when mixed with booze.


Today’s college students, who were mostly born in the early 1990s, have cellphone cameras and social media accounts that allow for the sharing of every embarrassing turn of a disastrous night. That can lead to a painful tarnishing of reputations or the celebration of reckless behavior. And news of the latest drinking trends spreads quickly on the Web.

Johnson notes that the rise of social media has “colored perceptions of college students,” but she asks whether kids today really are wilder than their parents.

Read the story to find out.

Valerie Strauss covers education and runs The Answer Sheet blog.



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Valerie Strauss · September 4, 2013

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