Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

College Drinking Has Roots in Students' High School Days

WebMD Health News

Nov. 12, 1999 (Chicago) -- High school students who engage in binge drinking are likely to continue the behavior in college and attract new recruits, according to a panel of experts speaking here at the 127th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association. Although the college atmosphere traditionally promotes "hardy partying" as a rite of passage, other students would support alcohol control measures, the researchers say.

"Approximately 48% of high school students and 62% of college students report ... binge drinking in the previous year," says Mallie J. Paschall, PhD, MPH. Those who had binged in high school were likely to continue in college if they viewed it as the norm. New drinkers also were influenced by this view, as well as by new friends who drank. A binge in Paschall's study of 541 students was defined as five or more consecutive alcoholic beverages in one sitting.

"Students were less likely to binge if they felt alcohol involved health risks, if they were involved in religious activities, or if they felt that their friends disapproved," says Paschall, a health research analyst at Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina.

"We need to realize that bingeing starts before college," researcher Hugh D. Spitler, PhD, tells WebMD. "The myth that 'college corrupts' is only true for a small percentage of the population." In a survey conducted by Spitler and his colleagues in the department of public health sciences at Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., 55% of 1,488 incoming freshmen acknowledged some level of drinking.

Among the students overall, 39% of men and 34% of women drank once a week or more, and 49% of men and 28% of women reported drinking at least five consecutive drinks. Students affiliated with a fraternity or sorority were 3 1/2 times as likely to drink, and students associated with religious organizations were about 3 1/2 less likely.

Although most college students support alcohol control policies, they underestimate the percentage of students who agree, says Linda Langford, PhD, a researcher with the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Problems. In a web- based survey, she and colleagues found out that 72.6% of respondents said they would support the banning of keg parties in residence halls, but they estimated that only 34% of students agreed.

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
mother and daughter talking
child brushing his teeth
Sipping hot tea
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
rl with friends
tissue box
Child with adhd