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Alcohol Dependency, Binge Drinking, Drinking Behavior, Lifestyle, Student, Survey, Unaware Binge Drinker, University



  1. De Salvia, Maria Antonietta PhD
  2. D'Uggento, Angela Maria PhD
  3. Aquilino, Giovanni PhD
  4. Tattoli, Maria MD, PhD
  5. Finelli, Carmine MD
  6. Imbrici, Paola PhD
  7. Desaphy, Jean Francois PhD
  8. Giustino, Arcangela PhD


Abstract: It is well recognized that both college and noncollege students are at-risk age groups for alcohol consumption. We investigated the alcohol consumption habits of undergraduate students with an emphasis on binge drinking. Participants (N = 809, 61.2% female) were freshmen attending courses at one of the main universities of southern Italy. They were asked to fill out a paper-and-pencil questionnaire that was administered between October 2017 and January 2018. Nearly 90% of the questioned students reported drinking alcohol during the 12 months before the survey. Among them, 31.4% of female students and 41.5% of male students engaged in binge drinking, mainly once a month; binge drinkers preferred highly alcoholic beverages during parties, underestimated the alcoholic content of their drinks, started drinking alcohol at a younger age than nonbinge drinkers, and drank weekly and between meals. Binge drinkers started smoking earlier than their peers, and a great number of them consumed illicit drugs. Moreover, 30.3% of female and 34.8% of male nonbinge drinkers declared that they consumed 6 or more units of alcohol in one occasion, making them unaware binge drinkers. Furthermore, approximately 50% of students recognized that alcohol consumption has effects similar to those induced by illicit drugs but only considered their peers' drinking behavior to be risky.


This study highlights that most students involved in this survey expose themselves to a risky lifestyle by heavy drinking and, most alarmingly, that some of them are not even aware of that.