Drinking on campus. Undergraduate intoxication requiring emergency care

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996 Jul;150(7):699-702. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170320045007.


Objectives: To (1) determine the incidence of undergraduate graduate students with alcohol intoxication who presented to our emergency department (ED), (2) examine the demographic correlates of the students, and (3) look at associated injuries that were sustained by the students.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Setting: A tertiary care medical center that was located on the campus of a major university.

Patients: Undergraduate students with alcohol intoxication who presented to the ED.

Main outcome measures: Demographic data and associated injuries of intoxicated students who presented to the ED during 2 academic years.

Results: Forty-four students presented with alcohol intoxication for a yearly incidence of 3.9 per 1000 students. Freshmen were overrepresented compared with students in other higher classes, with an incidence of 9.3 per 1000 per year (P < .001). Nine (20%) of the 44 students sustained an injury from a fall, and 1 required mechanical ventilation for treatment of apnea.

Conclusions: Alcohol intoxication that requires emergency care is not uncommon among college students, and many students with alcohol intoxication present to the ED following a fall. Freshmen are particularly likely to present for care in an ED.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / complications
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Students*
  • Tennessee / epidemiology
  • Universities
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology