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

Breathing dirty air may harm kidneys, study finds

September 21, 2017
Outdoor air pollution has long been linked to major health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A new study now adds kidney disease to the list, according to ...

Excess dietary manganese promotes staph heart infection

September 21, 2017
Too much dietary manganese—an essential trace mineral found in leafy green vegetables, fruits and nuts—promotes infection of the heart by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus ("staph").

Being active saves lives whether a gym workout, walking to work or washing the floor

September 21, 2017
Physical activity of any kind can prevent heart disease and death, says a large international study involving more than 130,000 people from 17 countries published this week in The Lancet.

Frequent blood donations safe for some, but not all

September 21, 2017
(HealthDay)—Some people may safely donate blood as often as every eight weeks—but that may not be a healthy choice for all, a new study suggests.

Higher manganese levels in children correlate with lower IQ scores, study finds

September 21, 2017
A study led by environmental health researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine finds that children in East Liverpool, Ohio with higher levels of Manganese (Mn) had lower IQ scores. The research appears ...

Higher levels of fluoride in pregnant woman linked to lower intelligence in their children

September 20, 2017
Fluoride in the urine of pregnant women shows a correlation with lower measures of intelligence in their children, according to University of Toronto researchers who conducted the first study of its kind and size to examine ...

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.