Research – Higher Education

Research – Higher Education


A Comparison of the Combined-Use of Alcohol & Energy Drinks to Alcohol-Only on High-Risk Drinking and Driving Behaviors

Substance Use & Misuse, January 2015, Vol. 50, No. 1 , Pages 1-7
The combined-use of alcohol and energy drinks is an emerging public health issue. Researchers examined differences in drinking and driving behaviors among combined-users and participants who consumed alcohol-only. Researchers found that combined-users were more likely to drive after drinking, drive while knowingly drunk, and participate in other high-risk behaviors such as heavy drinking that increase the potential for injury. The study authors recommend that public policy makers and health professionals should focus prevention efforts to reduce high-risk combined-use behavior.

Alcohol mixed with energy drinks are robustly associated with patterns of problematic alcohol consumption among young adult college students

Addictive Behaviors: Volume 41, February 2015, Pages 136-141; Available online October 20, 2014.

The study describes harmful outcomes associated with alcohol mixed energy drink (AmED) consumption, and extends the literature on the combined effects of alcohol and energy drinks on young adult risk behaviors. Further research needs to address causal mechanisms for the AmED and problematic alcohol consumption relation.

Alcohol Risk Management in College Settings: The Safer California Universities Randomized Trial

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Dec; 39(6):491-9
A study by scientists at the Prevention Research Center at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation finds that many college students drink at dangerously high levels. Using data derived from self-report surveys, the California-based study indicates that both male and female college drinkers combined may have 12 or more drinks at about 10 percent of drinking events, and male college drinkers may have 12 or more drinks at 20 percent of these occasions. The study also finds that the heaviest drinking occurs among freshman males and at the beginning of each academic year.

Binge drinking in college can lead to heart disease later in life

News Release
April 23, 2013
This news release provides information about a study that found that regularly consuming multiple drinks in a short window of time can cause immediate changes in circulation that increase an otherwise healthy young adult’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. The study was published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on April 23, 2013.

Caffeinated Cocktails

Acad Emerg Med. 2008 May; 15(5):453-60
Caffeinated Cocktails: Energy Drink Consumption, High-risk Drinking, and Alcohol-related Consequences among College Students

College Law Enforcement and Security Department Responses to Alcohol-Related Incidents: A National Study

Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research

(Impact Factor: 3.42). 07/2014; DOI: 10.1111/acer.12490

The purpose of this study was to examine how campus law enforcement and security respond to alcohol-related incidents, and how consequences and communication differ based on characteristics of the incident. Campus law enforcement and security most commonly reported contacting campus officials. A minority reported issuing citations and referring students to the health center. Enforcement actions were more commonly reported for serious and underage incidents than for less serious incidents. Large (vs. small) colleges, public (vs. private) colleges, and those located in small (vs. large) towns more consistently reported taking actions against drinkers.

College students tend to binge drink less when their campuses are located in States where fewer adults over-imbibe

American Journal of Public Health. March 2005; Vol. 95, No. 3, pp. 441-446
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that students tend to binge drink less when their campuses are located in States where fewer adults over-imbibe. The study also found that campus binge-drinking rates were 31 percent lower in seven States that had four or more laws targeting high-volume sales of alcohol versus those that did not.

Defining and Characterizing Differences in College Alcohol Intervention Efficacy: A Growth Mixture Modeling Application

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Advance online publication (March 2, 2015). Http://

This study suggests that there are distinct subgroups of college students defined by how they respond to alcohol intervention, and that interventions need to target freshmen men and those who play drinking games. Although most students initially respond to interventions, most also show decay over the next 12 months, which suggests that we need to determine ways of improving the long-term effects of alcohol interventions.

Efficacy and the Strength of Evidence of U.S. Alcohol Control Policies

American Journal of Preventive Medicine. July 2013; Volume 45, Issue 1 , Pages 19-28
Researchers reviewed alcohol control policies and developed quantitative ratings of their efficacy and strength of evidence. Policies limiting price received the highest ratings, with alcohol taxes receiving the highest ratings for all four outcomes. Highly rated policies for reducing binge drinking and alcohol-impaired driving in the general population also were rated highly among youth, although several policies were rated more highly for youth compared with the general population.

Energy Drinks and Alcohol: Links to Alcohol Behaviors and Consequences Across 56 Days

Journal of Adolescent Health – 03 December 2013 (10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.09.013)
Researchers examined short-term consequences associated with consuming alcohol and energy drinks compared with consuming alcohol without energy drinks. Adding energy drink use to a given day with alcohol use was associated with an increase in number of alcoholic drinks, a trend toward more hours spent drinking, elevated estimated blood alcohol content (eBAC), a greater likelihood of subjective intoxication, and more negative consequences of drinking that day. Use of energy drinks plus alcohol represents an emerging threat to public health.

How to Cut Student Drinking

Text messages and personalized feedback online can help
The Wall Street Journal, June 29, 2015

Impact of a Randomized Campus/Community Trial to Prevent High-Risk Drinking Among College Students

Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. October 2012; Volume 36, Issue 10, pages 1767-1778
The Study to Prevent Alcohol Related Consequences (SPARC) assessed the efficacy of a comprehensive intervention using a community organizing approach to implement environmental strategies in and around college campuses. The goal of SPARC was to reduce high-risk drinking and alcohol-related consequences among college students.

Is orientation week a gateway to persistent alcohol use in university students? A preliminary investigation.

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2015 Mar;76(2):204-11
Researchers found that Orientation Week during College may act as a gateway for male students, as drinking during Orientation Week predicted their subsequent drinking throughout the academic year. Based on these findings, Orientation Week could be a prime period for interventions aimed at curbing academic-year drinking.

Let’s not Lose our Investment in College Youth to Binge Drinking!

Campaign for a Healthy Alcohol Marketplace
February 2015

Magnitude of Alcohol-related Mortality and Morbidity Among U.S. College Students Ages 18-24: Changes from 1998 to 2001

Annual Review of Public Health. April 2005; Vol. 26: 259-279
The harm caused by alcohol consumption among college students may exceed previous estimates of the problem. Researchers report that unintentional fatal injuries related to alcohol increased from about 1,500 in 1998 to more than 1,700 in 2001 among U.S. college students aged 18-24. Over the same, period national surveys indicate the number of students who drove under the influence of alcohol increased by 500,000, from 2.3 million to 2.8 million.

Percentage of College Freshmen Drinking Beer in Past Year Continues to Decline

Cesar FAX. March 4, 2013; Vol. 22, Issue 9
Data from the Cooperative Institutional Research Program’s annual college freshman survey finds that the percentage of U.S. college freshmen reporting that they drank beer occasionally or frequently in the past year has declined significantly since the early 1980s. While the decline in beer consumption over the past three decades is encouraging, one-third of college freshmen still report drinking beer in the year before entering college.

Providing Alcohol to Underage Youth: The View from Young Adulthood;jsessionid=A870F2A48430C6A4F81267CA0BC54D79.f03t02?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=false

Arria, A. M., Caldeira, K. M., Moshkovich, O., Bugbee, B. A., Vincent, K. B. and O’Grady, K. E. (2014), Providing Alcohol to Underage Youth: The View from Young Adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 38: 1790-1798. doi: 10.1111/acer.12426
This study aimed to understand the attitudes and behaviors of young adults related to providing alcohol to underage drinkers. Participants were 755 current or recent college students of legal drinking age (ages 22 to 26) who were approached by a minor to provide alcohol at least once since turning 21. Most participants (84.6%) provided alcohol to minors at least once. Few (2.4%) were ever caught providing alcohol. Legal concerns about providing alcohol (82.5 and 53.7% for younger and older minors, respectively) were more prevalent than health concerns (55.7 and 9.5%). Young adults who have recently turned 21 could represent an important target for prevention strategies to reduce underage drinking on college campuses. More research is needed to understand the motivations of young adults who provide alcohol to underage drinkers.

Report recommends new approach to college drinking

ErekAlert!/Boston University Medical Center, May 18, 2015

Risks of Energy Drinks Mixed With Alcohol

Journal of the American Medical Association. 2013; 309(3):245-246
The health effects of energy drinks have received attention from researchers and policy makers because there is limited knowledge about differential effects of caffeine on children and adults and the interaction of caffeine and alcohol. Alcohol mixed with energy drinks (AMED) has become increasingly popular, especially among adolescents and college students. In surveys of college students, as many as 56% report mixing energy drinks with alcohol in the past month.

Should colleges be liable when binge drinking leads to rape?

Washington Post
October 31, 2013

State Patty’s Day: College Student Drinking and Local Crime Increased on a Student-constructed Holiday

Journal of Adolescent Research. 2011; 27(3) 323-350
This study examined a student-constructed holiday, State Patty’s Day, at a university with a dominant drinking culture using three sources of data – coded data from Facebook groups, daily web surveys from first-year students, and criminal offense data from police records. The impact of this student-constructed holiday went beyond individual drinking behavior; alcohol-specific and other crime also peaked on State Patty’s Day and the day after. Event-specific prevention strategies may be particularly important in addressing these spontaneous, quickly-constructed, and dynamic events.

The Burden of Alcohol Use: Excessive Alcohol Consumption and Related Consequences Among College Students

White, A. and Hingson, R. Alcohol Res 2013 ;35(2):201-18
This study examined recent findings about the causes and consequences of excessive drinking among college students relative to their non-college peers and many of the strategies used to collect and analyze relevant data, as well as the inherent hurdles and limitations of such strategies. Researchers found that drinking levels remained relatively stable on and around college campuses over the last 30 years, with roughly two out of five male and female students engaging in excessive, or binge, drinking. Excessive drinking results in a wide range of consequences, including injuries, assaults, car crashes, memory blackouts, lower grades, sexual assaults, overdoses and death. Further, secondhand effects from excessive drinking place non-binge-drinking students at higher risk of injury, sexual assaults, and having their studying disrupted.

To Cut Down on College Drinking, Involve the Surrounding Community

Join Together, August 5, 2015

Vital Signs: Binge Drinking Among Women and High School Girls – United States, 2011

MMWR. January 11, 2013; 62(01); 9-13
The Center for Disease Control released a study that found that binge drinking is reported by one in eight U.S. adult women and one in five high school girls. The prevalence and intensity of binge drinking was highest among women aged 18-24 years. In 2011, more than one in three high school girls reported drinking and one in five reported binge drinking; most high school girls who drank reported binge drinking. The report suggests that more widespread implementation of evidence-based interventions such as those recommended by the Guide to Community Preventive Services and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, would be expected to reduce the frequency and intensity, and ultimately the prevalence of binge drinking among women and girls, and the harms related to it.


Medical Reviewer