According to the 2013 Monitoring the Future Study, 78% of college students have tried alcohol at least once in their lifetime and 66% report they have been drunk. More important, perhaps, is the occurrence of binge drinking – 35% of college students report binge drinking (having consumed five or more drinks in a row at least once in the two-weeks prior to completing the survey).
After years of relatively stable levels, trends in alcohol consumption among college students increased slightly in 2012, but 2013 prevalence rates once again declined, reaching historic low levels. Statistically significant decreases from 2012 to 2013 were reported for annual and past month consumption. Among college students the long term trend from 1991 to 2013 showed decreases in all prevalence rates measured in the annual survey – lifetime, annual, past month and binge drinking. Lifetime alcohol consumption among college students reached a new record low level of 78% in 2013, decreasing 17% proportionally since 1991. Since 1991 annual consumption has declined 14%, and decreased a statistically significant 3.6% from 2012 to the lowest recorded level to date – 76%. During this same period of time, monthly alcohol consumption declined 16%, decreased a statistically significant 4.6% from 2012, recording an historic low of 63% in 2013. Similarly, binge drinking among college students in 2013 reached the lowest level yet chronicled (35%) – down 18%, proportionally, from 43% in 1991 and declined 2% from 37% in 2012. (Source: University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, 1975-2013: Volume II, College Students and Adults Ages 19-50, 2014)
Further, results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health highlight that 14% of college students reported episodes of heavy drinking, that is, binge drinking on five or more occasions in the past month.
The Monitoring the Future Study (2005-2013 combined data) revealed during the two weeks prior to the survey one in eight (13%) college students reported they have consumed 10 or more drinks in a row at least once, including one in twenty (5%) who reported consuming 15 or more drinks in a row. (Source: University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, 1975-2013: Volume II, College Students and Adults Ages 19-50, 2014)
View the charts