Reduce Alcohol Consumption Amongst U.S. College Students

Prevalence of Alcohol Use:

  • Prevalence of Drinking:  According to the 2015 NSDUH, 58.0 percent of full-time college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month compared with 48.2 percent of other persons of the same age.
  • Prevalence of Binge Drinking:  According to the 2015 NSDUH, 37.9 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported binge drinking in the past month compared with 32.6 percent of other persons of the same age.
  • Prevalence of Heavy Alcohol Use:  According to the 2015 NSDUH, 12.5 percent of college students ages 18–22 reported heavy alcohol use in the past month compared with 8.5 percent of other persons of the same age.
  • Consequences—Researchers estimate that each year: 
    • 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor-vehicle crashes.
    • 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
    • 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
    • Roughly 20 percent of college students meet the criteria for AUD.
    • About 1 in 4 college students report academic consequences from drinking, including missing class, falling behind in class, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.


*Source: 1 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Table 6.84B—Tobacco Product and Alcohol Use in Past Month among Persons Aged 18 to 22, by College Enrollment Status: Percentages, 2014 and 2015. Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015/NSDUH-DetTabs-2015.htm#tab6-84b. Accessed 1/18/17.