The percentage of binge drinkers has declined among college students ages 18-24, but the percentage has increased among people in the same age group who are not enrolled in college.
The percentage of college students that engage in binge drinking declined from 45 percent to 37 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to a study in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Among those not enrolled in college, the percentage increased from 36 percent to 40 percent in the same time period.
Researchers offered theories as to why the two demographics are headed in opposite directions.
“Among young adults who aren’t in college, there aren’t the same organizational supports to implement interventions, and that may be contributing to why binge drinking is increasing in that group,” Ralph Hingson of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said." Studies also have shown that interventions can reduce alcohol-related problems not only for college students who drink but also for other college students -- in effect reducing the secondhand effects of excessive drinking."
Many college and universities have tried to prevent binge drinking on campus by implementing programs to assist students who struggle with drinking or by creating educational awareness about the dangers of overdosing on alcohol.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes, each year.