1 in 8 Deaths Among Adults Related to Alcohol Abuse


Students matriculate to colleges and universities all over America with the opportunity for higher learning.  For many, attending college is crucial in advancing their education and career.  Students also pursue higher education opportunities for the “college experience.”

  Independence.  New friends.  Parties.

Flynn Kirk, a junior at Mercy College and a member of the school’s field hockey team, is one of these students who embarked on the college journey in hopes of living that experience.

“I came to Mercy because of field hockey.  But, I was still after the college experience that comes along with that.”

A large part of that college experience is partying.  With partying sometimes comes drinking.  According to a new study released by the CDC, excessive alcoholic consumption results in the death of one in every eight adults in the United States. 

The CDC conducted a study from 2015 through 2019 titled “Estimated Deaths Attributable to Excessive Alcohol Use Among U.S. Adults Aged 20 to 64 Years, 2015 to 2019” that was released to the public on the first of November.  The study concluded that over 12 percent of deaths in the 20-64 age range are due to the overconsumption of alcohol.  That number rises to 20 percent in the 20-49 age range.

The article about the study published by Alison Knopf noted that the study took into account other factors that may have played into the deaths they recorded, with the most notable being the Coronavirus.  Still, the study narrowed their results to deaths that were overwhelmingly due to alcohol, with other diseases and sicknesses sparingly increasing their risk.

College is the place where students experiment with alcohol, and often for the first time.  An article published by the Alcohol Rehab Guide reported that over 80 percent of college students drink to some degree. Nearly 50 percent of college students are participating in binge drinking, which is the consumption of large amounts of alcohol during brief periods.

The numbers reported by the CDB and the Alcohol Rehab guide are surprising to Kirk.  She believes that it is “too high of a number,” but added that it “makes sense if you think about it.”

While it’s reported that half of all college students are engaging in binge drinking, many students feel that this isn’t the case at Mercy College.

Myles Armstrong, a junior at the school, feels that Mercy College isn’t the place for that type of behavior.

“Maybe people are just doing a good job of hiding it, but this doesn’t feel like the right type of school for that.  We’re a little bit smaller.”

Armstrong, who added that he attends college for both the experience and to get his degree, isn’t too surprised by the numbers reported by the CDC.

“It’s something you’ll see every day in the news or on TV.  Things like this happen all the time.”  He added, however, that it is “surprising that those results don’t include drunk driving.”

Fellow junior at Mercy and Rockland County native, Oberson Coffy, also shares the same feelings towards that matter as Armstrong.  Coffy isn’t surprised with the numbers reported, explaining that he “sees it every day somewhere, and usually on TV that there are problems with young people and drinking.”

Regarding Mercy College, Coffy again aligns with Armstrong, believing that “it isn’t the case here.”

American Addiction Centers reported on the top 10 schools and the towns those schools occupy that lead the country in alcohol consumption, with the University of Wisconsin in Madison occupying the top of the list.

Among the schools listed in the top 10, North Dakota State University at the 10th spot has the lowest student population with just over 14,000 students.  Mercy College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,505, according to US News.

Population certainly plays a factor in the amount of alcohol being consumed by students, but the town of Dobbs Ferry may also have something to do with the lack of excessive drinking.

Mercy student and New York native Emmanuel Adeniji believe that the area restricts the ability to “go out and be crazy.”

“In this area, you really can’t do much.  There aren’t as many places for you to go.”

Adeniji compared the area of Dobbs Ferry to other notable college areas in the state of New York.  Specifically, he mentioned Albany and Binghamton as two places where much more alcohol consumption seems to take place.

“They can just do more in upstate.  We’re much more restricted here.”

Regardless, Mercy College takes this matter very seriously.  The school is partnered with eCHECKUP TO GO, which was started by physiologists in San Diego to provide students with information about issues such as excessive alcohol consumption.  Mercy College invites students to complete the Alcohol eCHECKUP TO GO program offered by the school, or to check in with the counseling department located on the first floor of Main Hall if alcohol problems occur.