November 02 | By Rachael
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28 people in the United States die every day due to motor vehicle accidents that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. In 2015, nearly one-third (29 percent) of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. were due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.
Compared to the older people, the risk of being involved in a car crash is higher among young people due to excessive indulgence in binge and heavy drinking. In fact, a majority of young adults are involved in drinking that exceeds the recommended limit.
As a result, approximately three out of ten (28 percent) drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2015 having the BAC levels of 0.08 percent or higher were between the ages 21 and 24. This highlights a heightened risk of motor vehicle accidents and other alcohol-related problems due to drinking among young adults.
Since the phase of young adulthood is all about exploring and experiencing changes, drinking has become a ritual across colleges across the world. As a result, it is widely considered as a significant public health problem. A number of drinking practices, including binge drinking and heavy drinking, are quite rampant among young adults aged 18 to 24. According to the latest findings, around 13.3 million (38.4 percent) young adults in the age group 18 to 25 years were binge alcohol users in the past month.
Fortunately, the comparative analysis of data from 1999 to 2014 reveals a steady decline in the binge drinking rates among college students aged 18 to 24 due to awareness of the repercussions. One of the studies explored the reasons behind the diminishing rates of binge drinking by analyzing the problem from all aspects.
In the backdrop of compelling and tragic statistics related to alcohol-related problems, it comes as a whiff of fresh air to learn that the rates alcohol-related fatalities are finally starting to drop among college students after being in the headline for many years.
The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found that the rate of binge drinking and other alcohol-related incidents increased among college students in the age group 18 to 24 years increased from 1999 to 2005 and started to decline from 2005 onwards. However, there was no decline in the above rates among young adults out of college.
The research for this study began in 1998 at the time when a task force was convened by the NIAAA to scrutinize the college drinking phenomenon and identify workable solutions for addressing this problem. While the rate of binge drinking increased among the target young adults from 42 percent to 45 percent from 1999 to 2005, it declined to 37 percent in 2014. Moreover, those driving under the influence of alcohol rose from 27 percent to 28 percent from 1999 to 2005, it declined 17 percent by 2014.
The study author and task force member Ralph Hingson, SC.D., M.P.H., of the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research at the NIAAA postulates a number of reasons for the decline. Some of the factors highlighted by him include an increased emphasis by the college authorities in adopting education programs and interventions for reducing problematic drinking practices on the campuses, less disposable income due to the economic recession of 2008, and the enforcement of the BAC of 0.08 percent by 2005.
The fact that more and more young people are consuming alcohol and indulging in extreme binge drinking are exposing them to alcohol-related problems. Though the above statistics are quite positive in nature, alcohol continues to exact an enormous toll on the academic and social lives of students across the U.S. Besides, such drinking practices are responsible for inflicting tragic consequences, particularly alcohol-related vehicle fatalities.
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