Excessive Drinking Costs US Colleges Millions | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Excessive Drinking Costs US Colleges Millions

Booze-related injuries can rack up half a million a year in ER visits per college.


Binge drinking lands many students in the ER
each year. Thinkstock

By Valerie Tejeda


| Share

Alcohol-induced injuries among college students can cost a university more than half a million a year, according to a new study. The University of Wisconsin-Madison conducted a study involving 954 college students who were considered “heavy drinkers.” In the 28 days prior to the study, male participants drank an average of 81.8 drinks, while female participants drank 58.7 drinks. The two-year study, published April issue of Health Affairs, found that 30% of males and 27% of females reported visiting an emergency department at least once with injuries ranging from broken bones to head injuries. The students who experienced alcohol-induced blackouts were 70% more likely to be treated at an emergency room than those who drank the same amount but did not blackout. The ER visits by those students cost from $469,000-$546,000 per university, and the priced varied depending on the location. "College alcohol abusers susceptible to blackouts put a heavy burden on the medical care system," say study authors Marlon Mundt and Larissa Zakletskaia. "Given limited campus resources, the study results support targeting efforts at preventing alcohol-related injury [among] students with a history of blackouts," they add. "In our cost estimate, close to a half-million dollars could be saved in emergency-department utilization costs on a large university campus each year if interventions targeting blackout sufferers were successful."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
PMS: A Natural Threat to Sobriety

I remember slamming things around the kitchen one night and feeling like I’d lost my mind. I was angry about something so minor, I literally can’t remember what it was and I don’t know that I knew then either

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 


This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv