College students’ drinking drops during the summer, but spikes during the return to school in the fall semester, and during spring break, a new study shows.
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied alcohol consumption among 462 college freshmen eight times over the course of a year. They looked at associations between drinking and events such as campus festivals, the beginning and end of the semester, and school breaks.
They found a 29 percent drop in drinking during the summer, when most students are not on campus, Medical Daily reports. When they returned to campus in the fall, their drinking increased 31 percent. Alcohol consumption jumped by 18 percent around spring break, up until an on-campus festival.
The findings appear in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about four out of five college students drink alcohol. About half of college students who drink also consume alcohol through binge drinking. Each year, approximately 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, while more than 690,000 students are assaulted by another student who has been drinking. More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.