Binge-Drinking Makes College Students Happier

It’s not just something young drinkers claim. A new study found out that binge-drinking really makes college students happier. The results were released today at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver.

Researchers surveyed 1,595 undergraduate students from different universities. They found out that students’ happiness was directly linked to their status. The results indicated that wealthy, male, white, heterosexual or Greek-affiliated students tend to be happier than their lower-status counterparts.

As expected, a higher status means a happier person. But this is where the binge-drinking part comes along. Whatever the status, binge-drinking increases the happiness. It seems that students believe drinking to be a sign of high status by itself.

“Binge drinking is a symbolic proxy for higher social status in college and is correspondingly related to greater social satisfaction” Carolyn Hsu, lead author on the study and chair of Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University stated for “Washington Post”.

So, if a student has a low social status, binge-drinking will help him fit in. If the status is already high, drinking will keep it that way. Among all surveyed students, 64 percent were binge-drinkers. This means the majority of students think binge drinking is acceptable if you’re looking to fit in.

But while binge drinking makes students feel happier, what happens to their physical health? The CDC defines binge drinking as “a common pattern of excessive alcohol use”, although the CDC does not link most binge drinkers to alcohol addiction.

As binge-drinking means more than 4-5 drinks per session, doctors believe the results are worrying. “I find the overall information to be very sad,” says Dr. Edwin Salsitz, chair of the Education and Program Committee of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine for ABC. “Binge drinking is dangerous on many different levels, yet these students seem to derive benefits from this behavior”, he added.

So, does this scientifically prove that drinkers are happier? It’s still hard to say. The negative effects of binge-drinking are beyond doubt, and that makes today’s research findings troubling for some experts. But for some reasons, American undergraduate students are happier binge-drinking.

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