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What Every Parent Should Know About College Binge Drinking
What Is Binge Drinking?
- Five or more drinks in about 2 hours for males
- Four or more drinks in about 2 hours for females
Consequences of Binge Drinking
- Loss of consciousness
- Cold, clammy, pale, or bluish skin
- Slow or irregular breathing
- Call emergency medical services immediately. If you are near a hospital and have not been drinking, take the person to the emergency room right away.
- Turn the person on their side to prevent choking in case of vomiting.
- Do not leave the person alone.
- Pay close attention to the person’s breathing. If it stops, administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Other Health and Social Consequences
What Can a Parent Do?
Be Aware of Risk Factors
- A large number of bars in the area
- Bars that promote drink specials, thereby encouraging binge drinking
- Lack of enforcement of underage serving laws
- Lack of college policy to control high-risk drinking
- Alcohol-sponsored programs on campus
- Lack of on-campus education about the dangers of high-risk drinking
- Lack of alcohol-free residence halls and activities
- Easy access to cheap alcohol
Establish Open Communication With Your Child
- Don’t give a one-time speech. Find frequent opportunities to talk to your children about alcohol (such as when you see an alcohol ad).
- Encourage your children to express their concerns openly.
- Focus on the facts surrounding alcohol use and binge drinking.
- Explain why you should never drink and drive, or get in the car with someone who has been drinking alcohol.
- Set a good example by not drinking excessively or frequently in front of your children, or driving when drunk.
- Teach your teen how to recognize alcohol abuse and deal with emergency drinking situations.
- If your child is in college, encourage them to live in an alcohol-free residence hall.
- Encourage your child’s participation in non-alcohol related activities.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism http://www.niaaa.nih.gov
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration http://www.samhsa.gov
Alberta Health Services http://www.aadac.com
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Alcohol intoxication. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 20, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2014.
Alcohol use disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 16, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2014.
Binge drinking. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm. Updated January 16, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2014.
Binge drinking on college campuses. Center for Science in the Public Interest website. Available at: http://www.cspinet.org/booze/collfact1.htm. Published December 2008. Accessed July 28, 2014.
McCarty CA, Ebel BE, Garrison MM, DiGiuseppe DL, Christakis DA, Rivara FP. Continuity of binge and harmful drinking from late adolescence to early adulthood. Pediatrics. 2004 Sep;114(3):714-9.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Parent Handbook for Talking with Teens About Alcohol. Mothers Against Drunk Driving website. Available at: http://support.madd.org/docs/madd%5Fhandbook%5Femail.pdf. Accessed July 28, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014
- Update Date: 07/28/2014