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The Tragic Consequences

While most students continue throughout their college years without developing debilitating substance abuse problems, a substantial percentage unfortunately do succumb to dependence and addiction. Even those students that do not meet dependency criteria may be negatively affected by their alcohol use through the consequences of binge drinking.

Binge drinking, which is defined as drinking more than 5 drinks in a sitting, is commonplace on college campuses and clinical research indicates that many college binge drinkers will consume as many as 10 to 20 drinks in a single setting. Directly resulting from college binge drinking is the tragic statistic of 1400 annual deaths attributed to alcohol on college campuses each year.

College students who survive their binge drinking and burgeoning dependencies are vulnerable to other social consequences of their abuse. About a quarter of college drop outs attribute their failures to alcohol or substance abuse, and 40% of people having academic difficulties cite drinking as a major influence in their academic failures. Alcohol abusing students also develop financial problems, and it is reported than an alcohol dependent student will spend more on drinking than on food, books, and other recreational activities combined.

60% of college transmitted STD's involve alcohol, and an equivalent percentage of college sexual assaults are alcohol related.

Because alcohol and other substance dependencies often increase in severity over time, many college drinkers may emerge from college only to find their dependencies overwhelming them later in adult life.

Varying studies place the number of college students meeting the criteria for alcohol or drug dependency at 20% or more, and it is estimated that less than 4% of college students get drug treatment for these dependencies.

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