Female students are now drinking more than their male counterparts, according to a recent study by University College Cork.
The study also found that one-in-six young men consumes more than six units of alcohol up to seven times weekly, which is defined as alcohol abuse.
The findings of the study were published in the British Medical Journal and found that hazardous alcohol consumption was now similar among men and women alike.
In total, 2,275 undergraduate students responded to the survey, which found that just over 66 per cent of students reported hazardous alcohol consumption, 65 per cent for men and 67 per cent for women.
Almost 17 per cent of men and 5 per cent of women consume more than six units of alcohol at
least four times per week, and occasionally on a daily basis.
Consequences of such drinking habits included missed days of college, health issues, social problems, violent behavior and unplanned sex.
The findings also suggested that men were more likely to report getting into a fight or to have a ‘one-night stand’ than women as a result of alcohol consumption.
The study called for intervention on a national level and further public policy measures “as a matter of urgency” to counter the short and long-term risks of hazardous drinking amongst third level students.
The UCC-based study was led by researcher at UCC, Martin Davoren, who said he and his team were taken aback by the study’s findings.
“[The findings are] yet another signpost that our relationship with alcohol as a nation is unwholesome and detrimental to health”, he explained.
“This study highlights the need for effective public policy measures such as a minimum unit price for alcohol and a full ban on sports sponsorship”.
His concerns were echoed by UCC’s Students’ Union President, Mark Stanton.
“The results of this study should be seen as a call to action nationally,” he said. “A national conversation needs to take place and students need to be at the heart of the discussion, not the topic of it”.
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