How serious is binge drinking among college students with disabilities?

June 22, 2017

A new study finds that college students with disabilities binge drink more often than their non-disabled student peers. The study, providing the first picture of alcohol use and binge drinking by US college students with disabilities, is out today in Public Health Reports, a SAGE Publishing journal and the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service.

"Substance abuse is the topic of high public interest, yet little attention is given to the experiences of with disabilities," wrote the study authors Steven L. West et al. "Given that is highly correlated with academic failure, drop-out, and an increased risk for various negative health conditions, such use by students with disabilities may place them at extreme risk for various negative outcomes."

The study authors surveyed 1,285 students with disabilities from 61 U.S. colleges and universities in 2013. The students answered questions regarding alcohol and other drug use and the use of substances by peers. The researchers found that 80% reported at least once. Among these students:

  • 70% reported binge drinking, defined as having five or more drinks in one sitting by males or having four or more drinks in one sitting by females, at least once in the previous year. This number is about 30% higher than the national average of college students as a whole, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 2012 and 2013
  • Of those who binge drank at least once in 2012, 10% reported binge drinking monthly, 9% reported binge drinking 2 or 3 times per week, and 1% reported binge more than 5 times per week
  • 42% drank alcohol once a month or less, 14% drank 2 to 4 times per week, 6% percent drank more than 5 times per week, and 10% drank daily

"Alcohol and drug prevention efforts are common on college campuses, and many are specific to the groups they target, such as members of fraternities or sororities or student athletes," continued the study authors. "However, students with disabilities are largely overlooked in such programming. Our finding that students with drink and binge drink at considerable rates calls for more preventive efforts targeting this underserved population."

Explore further: Nearly 32 million Americans engage in extreme binge-drinking: study

More information: "Rates and Correlates of Binge Drinking Among College Students With Disabilities, United States, 2013," Public Health Reports, 2017.

Related Stories

Nearly 32 million Americans engage in extreme binge-drinking: study

May 17, 2017
Almost 32 million US adults admit to extreme binge-drinking at least once in the past year, meaning they consumed eight to 10 alcoholic beverages—or more—in a single sitting, US government scientists said on Wednesday.

Spring break drunkeness a dangerous tradition

March 10, 2014
(HealthDay)—College students who consider heavy drinking a harmless spring break tradition might need to think again.

Fewer U.S. high school students drink, CDC finds

May 11, 2017
(HealthDay)—Drinking among U.S. high school students has plummeted in recent years, a new government report shows.

Playing sports can lead some boys to binge drink

January 15, 2016
High school boys who participate in sports are more likely to binge drink—especially to an extreme, according to a new University of Michigan study.

College students who binge drink have more delayed sleep timing, variable sleep schedules

June 11, 2015
A new study suggests that students who initiate and/or continue drinking and engage in binge drinking in college have more delayed sleep timing and more variable sleep schedules.

Youth binge drinking, cardiovascular disease possibly linked

April 26, 2017
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are conducting a study to determine whether binge drinking is related to cardiovascular disease in young adults who are not predisposed to the condition.

Recommended for you

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.