"Are you going out tonight?"
Helping you give your residents choices about alcohol
Resource Manual by
Charlene Hendricks, Queen's University
In 1993, the Addiction Research Foundation surveyed approximately 1100 Queen's University undergraduate students about their lifestyle and alcohol use. The results of this survey were printed in a resource manual called "Student Alcohol Use and Lifestyle Behaviours at Queen's University: Opportunities for Action." AII of the statistical information in this section has been taken directly from this report. I would like to acknowledge the authors: Lynn McIntosh, Chris Sullivan, Shelley Lothian and Diane Nolting. AIthough the report focuses on Queen's students, I believe that the information is typical of most universities, and will be useful for everyone.
Frequency and Quantity of Drinking
- 96% of students are current drinkers, 2% are past year abstainers and 2% are lifetime abstainers.
- On average, rnen usually consume a greater number of alcoholic beverages per drinking occasion than women. (11.0 vs. 4.6}
- Students with a 'D' average consume the most alcohol per drinking occasion. (13.8 drinks)
- The majority of students drink one or two times a week. Over 1/4 of students drink three to four times a week, and 7% consume alcohol five or more times per week.
- · The most popular drinking location is a student's OWN HOME, followed by a bar, a campus pub and a friend's home.
- Over 80% of students engage in heavy drinking, defined as five or more drinks in one sitting. Men are considerably more likely than women to drink at this level.
- The likelihood of heavy drinking increases sharply as grade average decreases.
- Almost 60% of students have consumed alcohol to reduce tension in the past year, 14% of men and 5% of women drink to reduce tension at least a few times a week.
- More than 1/5 of all students have thought they might have a drinking problem. Almost 1/2 of 'D' students have wondered if they might have a drinking problem.
The Impact of Alcohol on Students
- 62% of students have experienced a hangover from drinking at least once in the past two rnonths. Men are more likely than women to have hangovers.
- Almost 30% of students have vomited after drinking at least once in the past two months. Men are more likely than women to report vomiting after drinking.
- Over 60% of students have experienced memory loss after drinking. More men than women experience memory loss due to drinking.
- Students Iiving IN RESIDENCE are more likely than students living with their parents, or off-campus, to have experienced memory loss after drinking in the past two months.
- 1/4 of students have been criticized about their drinking by a date. Men are twice as likely as women to have had this experience.
- Students with a 'D' average are three times more likely than other students to have been criticized by a date because of their drinking.
- Almost 3/4 of students have done something they regretted while they were drinking. Men and women are equally likely to experience this consequence.
- AImost 1/2 of all students have cut class after drinking. Men are considerably more likely than women to do this.
- Approximately 70% of students with a 'D' average have cut class after drinking at least once.
- 36% of men and 15% of women have gone to class after consuming alcohol.
- More than half of 'D' students have gone to class after drinking, compared to 18% of students with an 'A' average.
- Around 15% of students have received a lower grade as a result of their drinking. 1/4 of men report this consequence of drinking.
- 6% of men and 3%of women have experienced problems with school administration because of their drinking.
- 34% of men and 31% of women have been involved in a fight after drinking.
- More than half of 'D' students have been in a fight after drinking, compared with 26% of students with an 'A' average.
- Approximately 15% of students have had legal problems of some sort as a result of their drinking. Almost 1/4 of men have experienced drinking-related legal problems.
- The likelihood of ever having experienced legal problems due to alcohol use increases sharply as grade average decreases.
Drinking and Driving
- Over 20% of students have driven a car after consuming several drinks. Men are considerably more likely than women to drive after having several drinks.
- 62% of students with a 'D' average have driven after consuming several alcoholic beverages.
- Over 40% of men and 22% of women have driven a car after drinking "too much".
- More than half of 'D' students have driven after drinking "too much" alcohol, compared to 22% of students with an 'A' average.
- 15% of men and 4% of women have consumed alcohol while driving a car.
- Around 1% of students have been arrested for impaired driving.
- 3/4 of students have been insulted or humiliated at some time in their lives, and almost half in the past year, by someone who had been drinking.
- Students with a 'D' average, and students living IN RESIDENCES, are most likely to report having this experience in the past year.
- 56% of students have at some point in their lives, and 1/3 of students in the past year, had serious arguments because of someone else's drinking.
- Women are more likely than men to have argued as the result of someone else's drinking.
- 1/4 of students with a 'D' average had friendships break up because of another person's alcohol use.
- Students living IN RESIDENCE are most likely to report friendships ending in the past year due to someone else's drinking.
- About 1/2 of all students have been pushed, hit or otherwise physically assaulted by someone who had been drinking.
- Men are much more likely than women to report being assaulted by a person who had been drinking.
- Students with a 'D' average are most likely to have been the victim of an alcohol-related assault in the past year. (40%)
- More than 10% of students have been sexually assaulted by someone who had been drinking.
- Women are four times as likely as men to report being sexually assaulted by someone who had been drinking.
- Students living IN RESIDENCE are more likely than those living off campus or with their parents to have been sexually assaulted by a person who had been drinking in the past year.
A Call for Action
- 45% of first year students think there should be more alcohol-free pubs and ACTIVlTIES on campus.
- 52% of students want rnore alcohol education programs and activities on campus.
- 70% of students with a 'D' average want more educational programs focused on alcohol.
What you can do
- If you drink, set an example for others by limiting your drinking to 1-2 drinks in any day, with at least one alcohol-free day per week.
- Invite a Peer Health Educator or another Alcohol Awareness representative to your residence to talk about alcohol use on campus and low-risk drinking practices.
- Help someone you know lower the amount of alcohol they consume on a daily and weekly basis.
- Discourage women from trying to drink as much as their male friends.
- Encourage friends who may have a drinking problem to seek help from a Student Counseling program.
- Encourage the university to develop and implement a campus alcohol policy.
- Make residents aware of their right to choose whether or not to drink and how much they want to before going out to any 'Rookie Night' activity.
- Ensure that the social gatherings you arrange or attend are not opportunities to drink heavy.
- Provide residents with alternative forms of entertainment and socializing that do not involve drinking.
For the complete article or more information email: Charlene Hendricks (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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