Alcohol Use

Standard Drinks

A standard drink contains approximately 0.6 fluid ounces (about 14 grams) of pure alcohol. Common standard drink sizes are:

  • 12 oz. of beer
  • 5 oz. of wine
  • 1.5 oz. of liquor

Risks to Health and Safety

Health problems

  • Including but not limited to high blood pressure, heart disease, certain cancers, and liver problems

Academic problems

  • Including but not limited to missing class, falling behind on course work, poor performance on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall
  • Approximately 25% of college students report having experienced academic consequences as a result of drinking

Hazardous and illegal activity

  • Including but not limited to drunk driving, vandalism, property damage, unsafe sex, physical and sexual assault, accidental injuries, and death
  • Approximately 5% of college students are involved with police as a result of drinking

Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Problem

Approximately 31% of college students met criteria of alcohol abuse and approximately 6% for alcohol dependence in the past 12 months based on self-report (2009 NIAAA’s “Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences”). Signs and symptoms of an alcohol problem include:

  • Drinking to alleviate stress, alter mood, or sleep
  • Unable to reduce or stop drinking
  • Needing to drink more to get the same buzz
  • Lying about or hiding drinking habits
  • Feeling guilty about drinking
  • Binge drinking or drinking frequently
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not drinking
  • Making drinking a priority over class, work, and other involvements
  • Spending more time with friends who drink and less time with friends who don’t drink
  • Continuing to drink despite consequences

Reference: 2009 NIAAA’s “Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences” and

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