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The Epidemiology of Binge Drinking Among College-Age Individuals in the United States

Rates of alcohol consumption continue to be a concern, particularly for individuals who are college age. Drinking patterns have changed over time, with the frequency of binge drinking (consuming four/five or more drinks for women/men) remaining high (30% to 40%). Young adults in the college age range are developmentally and socially at higher risk for drinking at binge levels. Changes in autonomy...

“Maturing Out” of Binge and Problem Drinking

This article reviews literature aiming to explain the widespread reductions in binge and problem drinking that begin around the transition to young adulthood (i.e., “maturing out”). Whereas most existing literature on maturing out emphasizes contextual effects of transitions into adult roles and responsibilities, this article also reviews recent work demonstrating further effects of young adult...

“Maturing Out” of Binge and Problem Drinking

This article reviews literature aiming to explain the widespread reductions in binge and problem drinking that begin around the transition to young adulthood (i.e., “maturing out”). Whereas most existing literature on maturing out emphasizes contextual effects of transitions into adult roles and responsibilities, this article also reviews recent work demonstrating further effects of young adult...

Drinking Over the Lifespan: Focus on College Ages

Approximately 41 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds are enrolled in a postsecondary degree-granting institution (National Center for Education Statistics 2013). As a group, college students, and particularly those at residential colleges (Presley et al. 2002), often drink heavily and experience myriad associated negative consequences. This selective review discusses the special characteristics of...

Epidemiology of Recovery From Alcohol Use Disorder

Almost one-third of the U.S. population meets alcohol use disorder (AUD) criteria on a lifetime basis. This review provides an overview of recent research on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol-related improvement and selectively reviews nationally representative surveys and studies that followed risk groups longitudinally with a goal of informing patients with AUD and AUD researchers...

Prevalence and Predictors of Adolescent Alcohol Use and Binge Drinking in the United States

In the United States, alcohol use typically begins and escalates during adolescence and young adulthood. To describe the historical and developmental trends in substance use in this age group, the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study (Johnston et al. 2012) was designed in 1975. Since then, this ongoing national-cohort sequential longitudinal study assessing the epidemiology and etiology of substance...

Alcohol-Related Disparities Among Women: Evidence and Potential Explanations

Although research on alcohol-related disparities among women is a highly understudied area, evidence shows that racial/ethnic minority women, sexual minority women, and women of low socioeconomic status (based on education, income, or residence in disadvantaged neighborhoods) are more likely to experience alcohol-related problems. These problems include alcohol use disorder, particularly after...

Effects of Binge Drinking on the Developing Brain

Binge drinking is a pattern of alcohol drinking that raises a person’s blood alcohol concentration to at least .08%, which amounts to consuming five alcoholic drinks for men and four alcoholic drinks for women in about 2 hours. It is the most common form of alcohol misuse in adolescents and young adults. Heavy drinking includes the same criterion as binge drinking, but with higher frequency (i.e...

Adolescent Binge Drinking

Binge drinking, commonly defined as consuming five or more standard drinks per occasion for men and four or more drinks for women, typically begins in adolescence. Adolescents, although they may drink less often, tend to consume higher quantities of alcohol per occasion compared with adults. This developmental difference in pattern of alcohol consumption may result, in part, from maturational...

Binge Drinking - Editor's Note

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of consumption that causes blood alcohol concentration to rise to .08%—the legal limit for adults ages 21 or older operating a motor vehicle—or more. This level typically occurs after a woman consumes four drinks or a man consumes five drinks—in about 2 hours. Research suggests that three out of four...