Alcohol Use

Why Does It Matter?

How does drinking affect college students? by the Dr. Jason Kilmer, 2 minutes

Multiple studies have shown that drinking alcohol impairs cognitive skills. In one study published in the journal Brain and Cognition, 109 university students were recruited to test the effects of alcohol on sustained attention, impulsivity, and verbal memory. It was confirmed that alcohol intoxication may functionally impare cognitive processes mediated by the frontal and temporal brain regions. This study found that moderate and high doses of alcohol significantly impeded performance on measures of sustained attention and immediate verbal memory. In order to address the sometimes frequent patterns of alcohol use among undergraduate students, educational prevention and early intervention of alcohol abuse is important (Magrys & Olmstead, 2014). Read more...

According to Dr. Jason Kilmer from the University of Washington some of the most common ways that drinking affects college students is that they regret their actions while intoxicated, those that already experience anxiety or depression often see worsening of their symptoms, and many students that drink alcohol earn lower GPAs. Dr. Kilmer recommends that students who wish to stop drinking visit campus recovery support services or health and counseling centers for assistance (Washington State Health Care Authority, 2019).

About the Instrument

The Alcohol Use survey is intended for participants age 18 years and older, and aims to identify hazardous and harmful patterns of alcohol consumption to assess risk related to alcohol.

There are 1-10 questions included in the Alcohol Use survey, and it takes 1-6 minutes to complete. Details about the questions and where they come from can be found in the document attached to this page.

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels



  • Babor, T.F., Higgins-Biddle, J.C., Saunders, J.B., Monteiro, M.G. and World Health Organization (2001). The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test: Guidelines for Use in Primary Care, second edition. Retrieved 7 March, 2017.

  • Magrys, S., & Olmstead, M. (2014). Alcohol intoxication alters cognitive skills mediated by frontal and temporal brain regions. Brain and Cognition, 85, 271–276.

  • Washington State Health Care Authority. (2019, September 26). How does drinking affect college students? [Video]. YouTube.