College Students Drink More on Game Days?!

Not to any great surprise, a study done at the University of Texas shows that football game days have students boozing harder and longer than any other days of the year, including holidays such as New Year's Eve and Halloween. Kim Fromme, psychologist and director of UT's Studies on Alcohol, Health, and Risky Activities Lab, co-wrote the report, which was printed in the November issue of Addictive Behaviors, with Dan J. Neal of Kent State University.

Through my own experience as a bartender in the alumni tents near the stadium, I can assure you that folks start drinking on game days at least one-two hours before the game even starts and, if the Longhorns win, can continue long after the football game is over. No matter how early the game starts, you can bet there will be a whole lotta drinkin' goin' on: For the first game of 2006, we opened the tent at 9am (the game started at 11am), and, sure enough, people came pouring into the tent and over to the bar in order to get an early start on game-day festivities.

Fromme and Neal gathered their facts by tracking UT students during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 football seasons. Drinking increased the most during high-profile games played at home, such as a game versus Texas A&M played at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium. But females, who spend a significant amount of time with friends, tend to drink more heavily at away games. UT males tend to drink more heavily during any game-day Saturday, home or away.

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