‘Pregaming’ Linked To Risky Substance Use Among College Students

(Texas A&M Today) New research from Texas A&M University School of Public Health suggests that college students who “pregame,” or participate in tailgating and similar activities before athletic events, are also more likely to take part in unsafe alcohol and other substance use.

Alcohol use has long been associated with American college students and the college sports culture. Pregaming frequently involves exposure to alcohol and increases participation in high-risk drinking. This, in turn, can lead those involved to participate in other risky behaviors with harmful consequences. The researchers who conducted this new study, which was published in Substance Use and Misuse, say their findings could help universities generate risk-management policies and provide targeted, event-specific prevention and intervention programming to help reduce these consequences.

The study investigated possible relationships between pregaming behaviors and how often students drink alcohol, and whether students who pregamed were more likely to engage in polysubstance use (ingestion of more than one substance in a single time period). Researchers Dr. Benjamin Montemayor, and Dr. Adam Barry of the Department of Health Behavior at the Texas A&M School of Public Health, used data from a survey of students at a large university who had violated the university’s alcohol policy between September 2019 and July 2021.

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