Alcohol problems on the rise among students, study shows

Thursday, 01 November 2018 10:14
Oude Markt in Leuven, desribed as "the longest bar counter in the world" Oude Markt in Leuven, desribed as "the longest bar counter in the world" © Visit Flanders
Almost four in ten students in Belgium drink more than recommended, according to a study carried out by the university of Leuven, among its own students.
The figure of 37% is a major increase on the 26% recorded five years ago. The study, which has been taken by 2,700 students since it was initiated in the 2012-2013 academic year, looks at the number of units of alcohol consumed, the effects it has, such as black-out, and any consequences, such as fighting or drink-driving.

The study also found that excessive alcohol consumption has not only an immediate effect, but also works in the longer term. Students who drank too much also scored an average of 11% lower in their exam grades.

“Alcohol has a major impact on the lives of problem drinkers,” said Ronny Bruffaerts of the university’s psychiatric centre. “Their psychological health suffers, they sleep badly, create nuisance problems in their surroundings, come less often to classes and so on. And it has consequences for their average marks, which are 11% lower for problem drinkers.”

If there is one cause for the increase in problem drinking, he said, it is the growing normalisation of drunkenness among young people, with the phenomena of pre-drinking – consuming alcohol at home in preparation for going out to consumer more – and binge-drinking, where a week’s worth of alcohol is consumed in one evening.

For the time being, the problem is not translating into an increase in full-blown alcoholism, which in previous years has been running at 2% to 5%. Some local authorities, including the city of Leuven with the backing of AB InBev Foundation, are creating programmes to warn young people of the dangers of what may seem to be an innocent social activity. The programme aims to reduce the number of problem drinkers among students by 10% over ten years.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

Family of toddler shot dead by police may stay in the country

Family of toddler shot dead by police may stay in the country

The family of Mawda Shawri, the two-year-old shot dead by police during a car chase as they were entering the country illegally, have been granted a residence permit to allow them to stay in Belgium for at least a year, migration minister Maggie De Block has decided.

Saliva collection to be used to curb driving under the influence of drugs

Saliva collection to be used to curb driving under the influence of drugs

The Cabinet of Ministers on Friday approved a royal decree allowing the use of saliva collection devices to determine whether a motorist is driving under the influence of drugs.

More than half of Brussels’ homeless have lived on the streets for more than a year

More than half of Brussels’ homeless have lived on the streets for more than a year

Nearly 60% of homeless people questioned during the ‘Face-à-Face’ (Face-to-Face) action for accommodation, had not had secure and permanent accommodation for over a year.