Problem of Alcohol Use by Underage College Students

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College drinking has become a serious issue especially kids who live on campus. Students regard drinking as part of the ‘college experience’ and tend to drink more when they attend college parties because feel they need to drink to have a good time. While drinking has become a part of college, colleges are making efforts to prevent it from continuing.

College students have made drinking a tradition of college environment. Most college students are underage drinkers. In the article ‘National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’, it was stated: “Alcohol consumption on many campuses has evolved into a rite of passage. Traditions and beliefs handed down through generations of college drinkers serve to reinforce students’ expectations that alcohol is a necessary component of social success. The role of alcohol in college life is evident in the advertising and sale of alcoholic beverages on or near campuses” (‘National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’, paragraph 2). College culture has promoted the use of alcohol. Students drinking traditions are encouraged through a mixture of individual and social influences. There can be many short terms and long-term effects of college drinking.

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College students obtain the urge to drink alcohol from each other. As stated, “More students now drink to get drunk, choose hard liquor over beer, and front load or drink in advance of social events, for many goals is to black out” (McMurtrie, paragraph 3). This statement explains how students depend on drinking. They pressure each other into drinking alcohol to fit in the social world. When students have free time, they use that time to go to parties and get drunk. At college campuses students don’t have anyone looking after them so they tend to drink a lot. They have the freedom to drink and party whenever they want. No parental guidance telling them drinking is not good for them. Peer pressure and freedom plays a big part in the issue of alcohol abuse of college students.

Students who drink doesn’t understand that drinking can and may affect your health. Alcohol can affect your heart, immune system, liver, pancreas, and different types of cancer that include head, neck, esophageal, liver, breast, and colorectal. Drinking an extreme amount of alcohol can put you at risk for these problems.

Students drinking can lead to death. According to Nathman, “More than 1,800 college students die from alcohol-related incidents every year. What's shocking is how little universities have actually done—beyond the occasional suspension or sternly-worded press release—to successfully change the pattern of alcohol-fueled deaths”. These deaths were caused mostly because of drinking and driving and careless behavior. Careless behavior for example, say you’re walking home from a party on the way back to your dorm, you’re really drunk and you happen to walk into street and get hit by a car. With this being said you can could put yourself in preventable situation when it involves drinking. An example of a death actually occurred at UF. Michael Richard Edmonds Jr., who was 26 years old, was arrested for DUI. But hours later after being released Michael was found dead. He jumped from the stadium.

Alcohol causes crime activities and violence. Excessive drinking causes increase risk of aggressive behavior, alcohol violence crime rates to rise. Students drinking increases students to commit violent offenses. The type of crimes alcohol causes includes robbery, sexual assault, and homicide. These types of crimes can put you and other people life in serious danger. The consequences of these crimes could be jail or even court. For example, Hess states: “Jane filed a complaint against John with the school. John was ultimately found in violation of Occidental’s sexual misconduct policy, which forbids students from having sexual contact with anyone who is ‘incapacitated’ by drugs or alcohol. John was expelled, the harshest possible punishment for students found responsible for sexual assault on campus. Then, he filed suit against Occidental, alleging that the school unfairly applied its sexual misconduct policy based on gender. As the lawsuit puts it: ‘John is being expelled because he is male; Jane Doe is not because she is female’” (Hess, paragraph 2). Even though Jane and John were both drinking and didn’t remember anything that had happened. John was expelled from school because Jane was a female, because she a female the schools feels that John is responsible. John has to deal with the consequences of his choice of drinking because he violated the Occidental’s sexual misconduct policy.

Use of alcohol has a negative effect on college student’s academic performance. Students stay out all night partying instead of staying in and studying or doing homework. So, then students start flunking their classes and start using that as an excuse to start drinking even more.

Notifying college students of the negative effects of drinking can benefit them by making them aware of the danger. By making the college students ware of what extremes alcohol can do to them, college students might choose to limit how much they drink. Prevention includes keeping students informed of consequences, enforce the rules, and allow alcohol to be served only to appropriate age students and limit the amount (‘Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs in College Students’, paragraph 4).

Schools need to put restrictions on underage drinking such as limiting the number of bars and liquor stores on or near campus. Colleges have programs and counselor to talk with about drinking. Alcohol should be banned from certain events of which underage students attend and stop being promoted. Schools were getting the parents involved and making them aware of their child’s behavior (Melinda, paragraph 2). Colleges informs the parents of those students who violate the college rule for alcohol and punishment the student by making them participate in the alcohol treatment program.

The success rates of college alcohol have been pretty good. According to Melinda, “To be included in this review, the study must have been published in English between 2007 and 2012, include an alcohol-abuse intervention for college students in the US, use any quantitative study design, and measure psychosocial variables related to alcohol behavior. A total of 49 studies met these criteria, including 40 RCTs. Motivational interviewing (n = 12) and brief motivational interventions (n = 10) were the most widely used intervention strategies, with the majority of the interventions targeting college students under 21 years of age (n = 35). Results indicate interventions found success with decreased drinking (n = 34), reduction in alcohol problems or consequences (n = 8), and decreased peer perception of alcohol use (n = 4)” (Melinda, paragraph 4). So, these prevention programs were a success on college campus. These programs were proved to bring the use of alcohol use on campus.

Another successful prevention was grownups addressing alcohol abuse of students by them monitoring and paying attention to changes of the students physical, mental and emotional health, and also the student’s behavior (‘Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs in College Students’, paragraph 1). Talking with the students about the issue without judging them. This way students can change step by step and realize the outcomes of their growth and if drinking alcohol affecting their goals.

Drinking alcohol is a major problem for college students especially students who live on college campuses. Most students are underage and may put themselves and others in serious danger. The effects of drinking could be long-term or short-term, it may include death, jail time, injuries, and academic problems. On college campuses students have made alcohol a part of college culture, while colleges are making efforts to prevent this from continuing.


  1. Ahmadiantehrani, Somayeh, et al. “From Signaling Pathways to Behavior”. Neurobiology of Alcohol Dependence, 2014, pp. 155–171., doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-405941-2.00009-2.
  2. Davis, Kathleen. “Alcohol: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects”. Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 28 Feb. 2018,
  3. Hess, Amanda, “How Drunk Is Too Drunk to Have Sex?” Slate Magazine, Slate, 11 Feb. 2015,
  4. Nathman, Avital Norman. “More Stories of College Kids Dying Quietly from Alcohol Poisoning”. Tonic, VICE, 8 Nov. 2017,
  5. “Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs in College Students”. Taylor & Francis, 8 March 2013,
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