Unfortunately, binge drinking by college students is relatively common, and comes with a host of worrying side effects for mental health.
According to the National Institutes of Health, a 2018 study found that 37% of college students had engaged in binge drinking within the previous month.
The National Institutes of Health also reports that binge drinking among college students is linked to suicide attempts.
A study in the Journal of American College Health found that students who engaged in heavy drinking were more likely to experience poor mental health.
Given the high prevalence of binge drinking among college students, some students may require rehab in order to stop drinking and avoid the poor mental health and suicide risk that can come with heavy alcohol use.
Consequences of Binge Drinking Among College Students
Beyond the risk of suicide and mental health problems, heavy, frequent drinking among college students can have a variety of negative consequences, including increased chances of missing classes or earning low scores on tests or assignments.
Heavy binge drinking among college students is also associated with assault, sexual violence, and deaths from accidents and injuries.
Unfortunately, the research shows that every year, about 1,500 college students are involved in fatal accidents involving alcohol, including motor vehicle crashes.
Other consequences of binge drinking among college students include health problems, risky sexual behavior, and involvement with police.
Heavy alcohol use may be common and socially promoted on college campuses, but the reality is that it can have devastating effects.
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Binge Drinking Among College Students Can Lead to Addiction
As previously stated, over one-third of college students engage in binge drinking within a given month, placing them at risk of developing an alcohol abuse disorder.
As the National Institutes of Health explains, binge drinking occurs when a college male consumes five or more drinks within a two-hour period, or when a female consumes four or more drinks within the same time period.
Unfortunately, college students may not realize they are drinking in this way, because large portions of beer or mixed drinks consumed during college parties could actually exceed what is considered a single drink. This makes it easy for college students to lose track of the number of drinks consumed, resulting in high rates of binge drinking among college students.
What is even riskier is the fact that some college students drink twice the amount that is considered binge drinking, a pattern that experts call “high intensity drinking.” Over time, this can lead to an alcohol addiction or an alcohol use disorder. According to the latest research, nearly 10% of college students meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder within a given year.
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Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder
Signs of an alcohol use disorder include being unable to cut back on drinking, giving up other activities in favor of alcohol use, or drinking larger quantities than intended. Other signs of an alcohol use disorder can include drinking in situations in which it is dangerous, continuing to drink despite relationship problems, and drinking to the extent that it is difficult to fulfill duties at work or school.
A college student who is struggling with an alcohol addiction may ruin friendships because of alcohol abuse, involve themselves in dangerous situations, such as drunk driving, and begin to fail classes because drinking interferes with studying and completing schoolwork.
Treatment for Binge Drinking Among College Students
If you are a college student who has become involved in drinking to excess on a regular basis, you may benefit from alcohol rehab. Excessive bouts of focused drinking among college students can lead to an alcohol use disorder, which is a brain disorder that negatively affects numerous areas of life.
Fortunately, treatment can help you to identify your triggers for alcohol abuse and develop strategies for living a life that is free from the grips of alcohol addiction. Experts recommend behavioral interventions and cognitive-behavioral treatments to address binge drinking among college students.
When you seek rehab for alcohol abuse, an addiction professional may provide a specific type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy, which can help you to think differently about alcohol and cope with situations that may trigger you to abuse alcohol in the future.
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Treatment for Mental Illness and Binge Drinking Among College Students
Excessive drinking among college students is linked to poor mental health, and it can even increase the risk of suicide. One study, published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, found that college students who were heavy drinkers scored significantly higher on a depression scale when compared to those who did not have drinking problems.
Alcohol abuse can worsen mental health among college students, leading to depression and even suicidal thoughts. Many college students who seek treatment for alcohol abuse may also be in need of mental health care to address mental health conditions like depression.
To ensure the best treatment outcomes, college students with both an alcohol addiction and depression should seek treatment at a dual diagnosis center, which can address both conditions. For example, if you get treatment for alcohol abuse but ignore the underlying depression, you may return to drinking in order to help you cope with mental health symptoms.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Colorado and Arizona
If you are struggling with binge drinking and are in need of rehab, Pathfinders Recovery Center has facilities in both Colorado and Arizona, and we are happy to provide services to those in surrounding states.
We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so we can help with both alcohol addiction and mental health concerns. Our leadership team has over 25 years of experience in the addiction field, and we are proud to offer premier dual diagnosis rehab services.
We also have a range of treatment levels, including inpatient, partial hospitalization, detox, and outpatient services.
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Paying for Dual Diagnosis Treatment
As a college student, you may worry about covering the costs of treatment for alcohol abuse and mental health concerns.
At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we take some of the stress out of the process for you by offering a free insurance verification program.
Simply visit our website and provide us with your insurance information, and a member of our team will tell you what you can expect to pay for treatment.
If you are without insurance coverage, we will work with you to create a cash payment plan.
Call us today to discuss your options and begin your treatment journey, so you can move forward from the consequences of binge drinking among college students.