Students Mark 21st Birthdays with 'Extreme' Drinking Binges

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, September 8, 2008

Students Mark 21st Birthdays with 'Extreme' Drinking Binges

A new survey's finding gives parents a reason to talk about alcohol use and abuse with their kids, particularly ones who are approaching their 21st birthday. It's estimated that 80% of Americans drink alcohol to "celebrate" their 21st birthdays (see my previous post, "Survey: Drinking 21 Shots is More Common than Previously Thought" which contains an excerpt from a USA Today article that talks about 21st birthday celebrations), and my hunch is that this form of celebration is as tempting for Christian kids as it is for others (perhaps even more tempting?)

For more information on talking to your teens about alcohol use, read the article on,

"Alcohol and Your Teen."

College students today celebrate 21st birthdays with an average of 12 drinks for men and nine for women, finds the most in-depth picture yet of the consequences of extreme partying.

The University of Texas-Austin research found 78% of students cited ill effects, including hangovers (54%). Of 44% who had blackouts, 22% found out later they had sex, and 22% got in a fight or argument. And 39% didn't know how they got home.

Although the study focused on only one campus, researchers say the new level of "extreme drinking" goes way beyond "bingeing" — four or five drinks in one sitting. And it's a phenomenon probably being repeated at schools across the country, researchers say. Studying 21st-birthday celebrations is a new area of research, and no national studies have been done, but studies on a handful of other campuses have found similar extremes.

Source: USA Today

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