9 No. 2
Out of Control
Alcohol abuse and academic life at Emory
Use and Abuse
Select Recommendations from the President's Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs
"Faculty members generally are more aware of what’s going on with students than the rest of us are. They see the impact more closely in terms of class absences, emotional trauma because of assault, and grades suffering."
"In Italy someone who is out of control because of alcohol is considered the lowest of the low as far as bad public behavior is concerned. Drunkenness is disgusting. American youth are always associated with drunken behavior, and they go from drunken to destructive."
An Image of Ethics
The response of the human brain to moral conflict
Neuroethics and Moral Progress
Toward an understanding of ethics decisions
Emory Indicators: Research impact on neuroscience
According to the results of a survey of 117 Emory undergraduate psychology students (sixty-seven females and fifty males), 16 percent of the women and 14 percent of the men admitted to having five or more drinks in a row at least once during the two weeks prior to being questioned. Twenty-two percent of the women and 30 percent of the men said they’d consumed four drinks in a row within the same time period. (The cutoff for “binge,” or high-risk, drinking is four drinks for females, five for males). This unpublished survey was conducted by graduate
students Patrick Sylvers and Amanda Alden and psychology professor Scott Lilienfeld in the 2005-06 academic year. Other noteworthy findings include:
• Among the females, 42 percent said they’d experienced a hangover since the beginning of the school year, 12 percent said they had missed class as a result of drinking, 15 percent had gotten behind in schoolwork, and 33 percent admitted to doing something they’d later regretted after consuming alcohol.
• Among the males, 56 percent said they’d experienced a hangover since the beginning of the school year, 34 percent said they had missed class as a result of drinking, 20 percent had gotten behind in schoolwork, and 50 percent
admitted to doing something they’d later regretted after consuming alcohol.
The final report of the President’s Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs bear out those numbers and shows that Emory students are not alone in their habits:
• Emory freshmen in 2002 reported binge drinking at a rate similar to national norms during high school (29.7 percent during a typical two-week period). During their first semester at Emory, however, binge drinking among freshmen nearly doubled to 48.9 percent and exceeded the national average of 44 percent. Almost all of these students are below legal drinking age.
• Emory students experience negative consequences as a result of both their own and others’ alcohol consumption, including having to “baby-sit” a drunk student, sleep or study interrupted, missing classes, getting behind in school work, facing violence, and experiencing unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault.
• Among the main reasons for alcohol consumption Emory students listed having a good time, celebrating, relaxing, rewarding oneself for hard work, or getting drunk.
• Students who do not plan to join fraternities or sororities appear at lower risk of alcohol (ab)use than those who plan to join or are undecided about joining. Survey respondents who were members of Emory fraternities or sororities reported both higher levels alcohol consumption and more related problems.
• National data has shown that 10 percent of college students develop alcohol and/or drug dependence while still in college.
National data from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges,” April 2002