More than half the freshmen attending colleges where drunken parties are a way of life go on a binge during their first week on campus, according to a survey released Wednesday.
“We anticipated they would drink a lot, but these findings surprised even us,” said researcher Henry Wechsler of the Harvard School of Public Health. “We found they start drinking early, and they do it often,”
The study, conducted at schools where binge drinking is common, was designed to examine what happens to freshmen who enter this drinking culture.
In the new study,The researchers questioned 720 freshmen at 13 heavy-drinking colleges. They found that 68 percent of new students had binged by the end of their first semester, 54 percent of them in their first week at school.
Among the survey’s other findings:
In the first semester, male and female frosh binged almost equally.
Every freshman questioned said alcohol was very easy to get on campus and 96 percent said school drinking rules had no effect.
While 84 percent called alcohol a problem on campus, just over half considered it “appropriate” to get drunk at parties or with friends.