Heavy episodic drinkers (often called binge drinkers), and especially frequent heavy episodic drinkers, are at increased risk of alcohol disorders. Heavy episodic drinkers are defined as men who had five or more—or women who had four or more—drinks in a row at least once in the two weeks before the students completed the survey questionnaire. Frequent heavy episodic drinkers have consumed these amounts at least three times in the previous two weeks.
Alcohol industry organizations and some alcohol educators have questioned the five/four measure as too low to be considered heavy episodic drinking. However, the study shows that drinking at this level is associated with a much higher risk of alcoholism. For instance, one in every five frequent heavy episodic drinkers was classified with alcohol dependence (alcoholism), compared to one of every 20 students in the overall student population.
Contrary to what you've probably heard about college, you don't have to get liquored up every night in order to have a memorable experience. In fact, one in five college students doesn't drink at all. Besides, you'll have many more memories of your years of higher education if drinking isn't a central part of it. So don't let college folklore influence you to be under the influence.
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