Binge Drinking: Students' Alcohol Consumption Prompts Concern Over Safety

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One in five students have admitted they could not survive a term without drinking, while more than two thirds say they have experience memory loss as a result of alcohol, a study has found.

The survey, conducted by the student website, questioned 2,027 students who consumed alcohol from 68 universities across the UK. The website found 37% could not remember how they got home after a night out and nearly half have walked home alone.

The figures also revealed:

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  • 37% could not remember how they got home after a night out
  • One in two have missed a lecture or seminar because they drank too much the night before
  • 47% of non-drinking students wish alcohol wasn't such a big part of university life
  • More than a third have been injured after drinking

Studentbeans questioned 2,027 students who consumed alcohol from 68 universities across the UK. The results, published on Wednesday, have prompted concern from alcohol advice charities such as Drinkaware.

Chief executive Chris Sorek warned against excess alcohol consumption as it can lead to "doing things you'd never dream of doing when sober".

“Being a student can involve drinking heavily. Alcohol impairs your judgement and having a few too many can lead to embarrassing yourself in front of your mates.

“It’s essential that we all think carefully about how much we drink on a night out to avoid taking risks with our health and personal safety. Drinking to excess can increase the chances of sexual assault, having a serious accident or being a victim of crime."

Sorek advocated the use of the charity's "Good Times" app which helps keep track of how much you're drinking and has tips on ways to sober up or find a safe taxi home.

But Pete Mercer, National Union of Students vice president, said students were unfairly stereotyped as big drinkers.

"Lazy marketing that appeals inaccurate stereotypes threatens to undermine work done to ensure that when young people do drink that they do so safely and in ways that does not damage their health."

"There is a myth that university students are more likely to indulge in risky drinking behaviour but they are actually more likely to take precautions and think about their safety when drinking than the broader population.

The student website used their research to rank universities in a "drinking league", according to the average amount of units drunk in a week. The top five were:

Leeds Met - 26.7 units
Liverpool - 26.6
and UWIC - 26.1
Bath Spa University - 24.9
University of Glamorgan - 22.2

Mercer criticised the move by the website to rank the institutions and turn the statistics into a game.

"Presenting the consumption of alcohol as a competition is incredibly irresponsible and potentially dangerous," he added.

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