(FYI, Here’s a link to the “Who’s a Pervert?” post from a couple days ago that is now up on my Huffington Post blog. )
Here’s my TIME.com column today on college binge drinking.
Proposed changes to the psychiatric profession’s diagnostic manual, the DSM-5, have caused a recent uproar, with critics worried that the new label of “alcohol abuse disorder” will overdiagnose young problem drinkers — as many as 40% of college students — who eventually outgrow their dysfunctional behavior. Editors of the DSM-5 countered that the change in definition won’t increasediagnosis, but the whole debate is merely a sideshow. As a member of Harvard University’s Alcohol and Other Drug Services Executive Committee, I know firsthand that drinking among young adults is still a very serious problem that needs treatment.
Whether or not problem drinkers become alcoholics later in life — and there’s evidence that many of them do — we can’t ignore the hard reality that college binge drinking plays a central role in campus deaths, sexual assaults, physical injuries, destruction of property, failing academic performance, unintended pregnancies, STDs, depression, domestic violence and other mental-health problems. The statistics are truly sobering. Every year, more than 3 million students between ages 18 and 24 drive while drunk. Alcohol accounts for…