Underage drinking is a common activity and a social norm among college students.
While it can be argued that a university is an enabling atmosphere, apparently statistics on collegiate drinking have not changed in over a decade.
According to the 2012 National Survey on drug use and health done by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, young adults who were enrolled full time in college were more likely than their peers who were not enrolled full time (for example part time college students and persons not currently enrolled in college) to report current, binge, or heavy drinking.
Among full-time college students in 2012, 60.3 percent were current drinkers, 40.1 percent were binge drinkers, and 14.4 percent were heavy drinkers. Among those not enrolled full time in college, these rates were 51.9, 35.0, and 10.7 percent, respectively.
Because over 60 percent of college students surveyed anonymously admitted to being current drinkers, there are bound to be some underage drinkers in the majority.
The survey also investigated the pattern of higher rates of current alcohol use, binge alcohol use, and heavy alcohol use among full-time college students compared with rates for others aged 18 to 22.
The survey found that the rate has remained consistent since 2002.
That statistic could mean both good and bad news for students.
On one hand, because the level of reported drinking annually in the survey hasn’t varied much, it is easy to say that college binge drinking isn’t ‘on the rise’.
But the bad news is that the survey doesn’t specify how much of said drinking is done underage, even though 18 – 22 year-olds were surveyed.
That makes it hard to discern if the numbers have varied in that respect.
Underage drinking is a problem everywhere, and Slippery Rock is no exception.
Citations for underage consumption of alcohol are featured in the police blotter on almost a weekly basis.
While its obvious that there are more students that participate in underage drinking than those who are charged, it’s still ambiguous as to how big of a problem it really is.