But those administrators shouldn’t be the only ones concerned, as a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that binge drinking isn’t just a college problem.
About one in six adults binge drinks about four times a month. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men in a short period of time and four or more drinks for women, but the CDC found that when most people binge, that usually means consuming about eight drinks.
So who are these heavy drinkers? The age group with the most binge drinkers is the 18- to-34-year-olds, but the age group that binge drinks most often (five to six times a month) is the over-65 crowd.
Bingeing is most common in the Midwest, New England region, the District of Columbia, Alaska and Hawaii, based on data collected in 2010. (D.C. drinkers consumed about six drinks per sitting.)
“Binge drinking by adults has a huge public health impact, and influences the drinking behavior of underage youth by the example it sets,” said Pamela S. Hyde, substance abuse and mental health services administrator, in a statement.
Heavy drinking can lead to serious injury, alcohol poisoning, car crashes, violence, suicide and a host of other problems. That’s why Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim declared binge drinking a public health problem last year and established the national Learning Collaborative on High-Risk Drinking.
For college students, excessive drinking can lead to dropping out of school or being kicked out. About 40 percent of college students report binge drinking, according to the White House’s latest drug control strategy, and 25 percent of students said alcohol has caused them to miss class, fall behind, do poorly on exams and papers, or receive lower grades.