The Problem Is 'Binge Drinking'
By Buddy T, About.com Guide Updated May 29, 2009
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The death of a20-year-old LSU fraternity pledge in 1997 drew the nation's attention to the growing problem of drinking at colleges, or more specifically the increasing numbers of students who drink "to get drunk." TheLSU student who died apparently was the victim of acute alcohol poisoning, caused by consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period of time. This obviously was an extreme example of the problemsinvolving drinking by college students -- otherwise it would not have made the national news -- but it is symptomatic of a continuing and growing problem throughout the college community. After the1997 LSU incident, media attention was turned to the extent of the problem or how much information there is about it, from various viewpoints, on the Internet. Now, wait a minute, Buddy! College anddrinking go together like, well, orange juice and Vodka. It's all part of the growing up process... the rites of passage. It's been going on as long as there have been colleges and it will keep going on.What's the big deal? The problem is not alcohol and drinking, but "binge" drinking. What is binge drinking? Most of us have always thought of a "binge" as a two or three day drunk. But the medicaldefinition of the term is "five or more drinks in a row for men, four or more for women." In other words, "binge drinking" is drinking for the primary purpose of getting drunk. More and more studentsthese days are drinking just to get "wasted." A 1993 questionnaire completed by nearly 18,000 students at 140 colleges in 40 states found that 44 percent of the students - 50 percent of the men and 39...