The Issue of Excessive College Drinking and Drinking Age in US

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During the freshman year of college, students are more prone to stepping outside of their comfort zone, and experience new opportunities. Entering a new environment, without any parental supervision, encourages these students to branch out even more, and partake in activities that most parents would not necessarily approve of. The research conducted by Emil Chiauzzi, Pronabesh DasMahapatra, and Ryan A. Black explores the risk behavior of drugs and alcohol usage on college freshman in hopes to further obtain information to better understand what percentage of college students are using drugs and alcohol.The purpose of Chiauzzi’s, DasMahapatra’s, and Black’s study is to further examine the excessive use of drugs and alcohol on college freshman. The study of episodic drinking on college freshman is crucially important due to the fact that, not only are they one’s child or loved one, but handfuls of them are uneducated about the toll that drugs and alcohol can have on one’s physical and mental state.The three Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, and Black used a method of study known as the Latent Class Analysis. This analysis was chosen in the prevention of common error rates, low statistical power, and problems evaluating higher order interactions. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011)

The previously mentioned researchers collected information from students studying across the United States. Of all the colleges in the United States, 89 colleges were then chosen for this particular study. Broken down into categories of region, 21,945 students were selected to take part in the study. These, almost 22 thousand students, were categorized into groups of sex, age, gender, and race. Predominately, 80.1 percent of these students’ racial status was white, while the other 44.4 percent of the student body were of other races such as Hispanic, Asian, African American, American Indian, and other races. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011) After viewing other models that ranged from one class up to six classes, it was then found that a class four model fit this particular study. The researchers broke the results from the questionnaire down into four different subcategories. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011)

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The first class, class one, is known as a Low Risk Drinking / Low Prevalence Drug Use. 46 percent of the students taking part in this analysis were placed in this category, due to their answers of drug and alcohol use reporting within the previous year. In the first class, 75.8 percent were white with 59.0 percent being females. This class is the low risk drinking / low prevalence drug use class because they did not consume above average amounts of drugs or alcohol during a typical week. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011) In the second class, Lower Intake Drinking / Moderate Prevalence Drug Use, 20.2 percent of the participants were placed under this class. The students who were placed in this class were predominantly white, 80.5 percent. Something interesting found in this class is that most of the students placed here were female, in fact 78.9 percent. In this class, the men and women had a higher drug and alcohol intake during a typical week, at a rate of more than four drinks. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011)

Moderate Risk Drinking / Moderate Prevalence Drug Use is known as class three. Class three’s percentage of students was 13.6 percent with an estimate of 78.7 percent of males. This class, unlike class two, is primarily men. Moderate Risk / Moderate Drug Use students reported drinking heavily during a short period of time. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011) Lastly, the final class, High Risk Drinking / High Prevalence Drug Use found that this subgroup reported extremely high drug and alcohol use, even to be classified as binge drinkers. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011) Overall, the researchers, Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, and Black, found that sex, race, and age does not depict exactly what or how much one intakes; alcohol or drug wise. They also found that when one is drinking, he or she will typically drink or use drugs depending on their surroundings. The reason for this is because college students will do as they see. For example, when a group of college students are going to a gathering of some sort, if one friend is deciding to consume alcohol or try/use drugs, the other students around will most likely be doing the same. (Chiauzzi, DasMahapatra, Black, 2011) This article points out, on average, how many students choose to enjoy, as well as use drugs and alcohol. This study can be used to educated generations on how the use of drugs and alcohol effects students.

Educators can use this research to provide information to their students, especially to those that are preparing for their freshman year in college. The information that could potentially be provided, is that not all students have to binge drink in order to receive the full college experience. This study can be applied to other educational purposes by realizing that most college students do drink alcohol. Knowing that college students are under the drinking age until their junior or senior year, one can apply this research to educate the problem areas of underage drinking. I found that this article was extremely engaging. As a college freshman, it helps to know and understand how many students across the globe are taking part in underage drinking and drug use. With the results of this analysis, I was able to place myself in one of these classes, so that I could better understand where I lie on the spectrum. Underage drinking and drug use are extremely pivotal information to today society. I found the analysis incredibly interesting because the students who self-reported their intake of alcohol, not all of them consumed the same amount as the next person.

This article studied the risk behavior of drug and alcohol usage on college freshman. College freshman are prone to stepping outside of their comfort zone and trying new as well as “risky” opportunities. With that, it is easier for a one to say yes to drinking with friends, than it is to say no and choose the alternative, in this case studying or doing homework. This study is imperative to today’s society because students who do not know their level of tolerance, will drink until their body physically cannot take anymore. Once their tolerance of drugs and alcohol is known, their college experience with drinking will promote a safer environment for those attending college.

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