Salud Mental

Characterization of alcohol consumption and related problems in university students from Mexico City


Mirna García-Méndez
Martha Cordero-Oropeza
Julio Javier Corona-Maldonado


Introduction. In Mexico, alcohol consumption is the main problem related to substance use among university students.

Objective. To analyze emerging alcohol consumption patterns in students at a public university through the administration of an online survey.

Method. This is a cross-sectional, survey-based study. Participants included 3,888 students from a large university in Mexico City, to whom the alcohol and sociodemographic data section of the Cuestionario de Estudiantes 2014 was electronically administered in August-September 2018 and 2019. Latent Class Analysis was applied to the data obtained. During the research, the principles, norms, and ethical precepts of research on human beings were observed.

Results. The relevant variables observed were length of exposure to alcohol, excess alcohol consumption, consumption on a typical day and alcohol-related consequences, which were used to create a model with four groups: teetotalers and early drinkers without consequences, risky drinkers with consequences, experienced risky drinkers without consequences and habitual drinkers with consequences. 36.7% of the sample were classified into groups with consequences and a high likelihood of excess consumption.

Discussion and conclusion. Lengthy exposure to alcohol influences measures of frequency and intensity of consumption in relation to the number of consequences suffered. This latent class model can guide the design and priority of universal, selective, or suggested preventive interventions.
Alcohol drinking, students, latent class analysis, threshold, measurement


Alonso, J., Mortier, P., Auerbach, R. P., Bruffaerts, R., Vilagut, G., Cuijpers, P., … Kessler, R. C. (2018). Severe role impairment associated with mental disorders: Results of the WHO World Mental Health Surveys International College Student Project. Depression and Anxiety, 35(9), 802-814. doi: 10.1002/da.22778

Borges, G., Bagge, C., Cherpitel, C. J., Conner, K., Orozco, R., & Rossow, I. (2017). A meta-analysis of acute use of alcohol and the risk of suicide attempt. Psychological Medicine, 47(5), 949-957. doi: 10.1017/S0033291716002841

Borges, G., Cherpitel, C., Orozco, R., Bond, J., Ye, Y., Macdonald, S., … Poznyak, V. (2006). Multicentre study of acute alcohol use and non-fatal injuries: data from the WHO collaborative study on alcohol and injuries. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 84(6), 453-460. doi: 10.2471/BLT.05.027466

Borsari, B., Neal, D. J., Collins, S. E., & Carey, K. B. (2001). Differential utility of three indexes of risky drinking for predicting alcohol problems in college students. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15(4), 321-324. doi: 10.1037/0893-164X.15.4.321

Díaz Martínez, A., Díaz Martínez, L. R., Hernández-Ávila, C. A., Narro Robles, J., Fernández Varela, H., & Solís Torres, C. (2008). Prevalencia del consumo riesgoso y dañino de alcohol y factores de riesgo en estudiantes universitarios de primer ingreso. Salud Mental, 31(4), 271-282. Retrieved from

Díaz Martínez, R., Díaz Martínez, A., Hernández Ávila, C. A., & María-Reydl, L. (2012). La identificación del consumo de alcohol en los estudiantes de educación media superior y superior. In Reidl Martínez, L. M. (Ed.). Desarrollo de nuevos modelos para la intervención y el tratamiento de conductas adictivas. Seminarios académicos (pp. 29-38). México: UNAM-Miguel Ángel Porrua.

Erol, A., & Karpyak, V. M. (2015). Sex and gender-related differences in alcohol use and its consequences: Contemporary knowledge and future research considerations. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 156, 1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2015.08.023

Esser, M. B., Kanny, D., Brewer, R. D., & Naimi, T. S. (2012). Binge drinking intensity: A comparison of two measures. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 42(6), 625-629. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.03.001

Fillmore, M. T., & Jude, R. (2011). Defining “binge” drinking as five drinks per occasion or drinking to a.08% BAC: Which is more sensitive to risk? American Journal on Addictions, 20(5), 468-475. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2011.00156.x

Gruenewald, P. J., Johnson, F. W., Light, J. M., Lipton, R., & Saltz, R. F. (2003). Understanding college drinking: assessing dose response from survey self-reports. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 64(4), 500-514. doi: 10.15288/jsa.2003.64.500

Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, Comisión Nacional Contra las Adicciones, & Secretaría de Salud. (2015). Encuesta Nacional de Consumo de Drogas en Estudiantes 2014: Reporte de alcohol. Retrieved from

Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente Muñiz, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Comisión Nacional Contra las Adicciones, & Secretaría de Salud. (2017). Encuesta Nacional de Consumo de Drogas, Alcohol y Tabaco, ENCODAT 2016-2017. Reporte de alcohol. Retrieved from

Joseph, J., & Basu, D. (2017). Efficacy of brief interventions in reducing hazardous or harmful alcohol use in middle-income countries: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 52(1), 56-64. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agw054

Korcha, R. A., Cherpitel, C. J., Bond, J., Ye, Y., Monteiro, M., Chou, P., … Hao, W. (2018). Drinking context and cause of injury: Emergency department studies from 22 countries. Journal of Substance Use, 23(3), 240-246. doi: 10.1080/14659891.2017.1378747

Kuntsche, E., & Gmel, G. (2013). Alcohol consumption in late adolescence and early adulthood--where is the problem? Swiss Medical Weekly, 143, 13826. doi: 10.4414/smw.2013.13826

Labhart, F., Livingston, M., Engels, R., & Kuntsche, E. (2018). After how many drinks does someone experience acute consequences-determining thresholds for binge drinking based on two event-level studies. Addiction, 113(12), 2235-2244. doi: 10.1111/add.14370

Linden-Carmichael, A. N., Russell, M. A., & Lanza, S. T. (2019). Flexibly modeling alcohol use disorder risk: How many drinks should we count? Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 33(1), 50-57. doi: 10.1037/adb0000431

Linden-Carmichael, A. N., Vasilenko, S. A., Lanza, S. T., & Maggs, J. L. (2017). High‐intensity drinking versus heavy episodic drinking: Prevalence rates and relative odds of alcohol use disorder across adulthood. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 41(10), 1754-1759. doi: 10.1111/acer.13475

Martínez Martínez, K. I., Pedroza Cabrera, F. J., Salazar Garza, M. L., & Vacio Muro, M. A. (2010). Evaluación experimental de dos intervenciones breves para la reducción del consumo de alcohol de adolescentes. Revista Mexicana de Análisis de la Conducta, 36(3), 35-53. Retrieved from

Medina-Mora, M. E., Castro, S., Campillo-Serrano, C., & Gomez-Mont, F. A. (1981). Validity and reliability of a high school drug use questionnaire among Mexican students. Bulletin on Narcotics, 33(4), 67-76. Recuperado de

Monroy Cazorla, L., Vidal Uribe, R. S., & Saade Hazin, A. (2010). Análisis de Clases Latentes. Una técnica para detectar heterogeneidad en poblaciones (1a ed.; S. de Salud, Ed.). Retrieved from

Mora-Ríos, J., & Natera, G. (2001). Expectativas, consumo de alcohol y problemas asociados en estudiantes universitarios de la ciudad de México. Salud Pública de México, 43(2), 89-96. doi: 10.1590/s0036-36342001000200002

NIAAA. (2004). NIAAA Newsletter, Winter 2004 (p. 3). p. 3. Retrieved from

O’Connor, E. A., Perdue, L. A., Senger, C. A., Rushkin, M., Patnode, C. D., Bean, S. I., & Jonas, D. E. (2018). Screening and Behavioral Counseling Interventions to Reduce Unhealthy Alcohol Use in Adolescents and Adults: Updated Evidence Report and Systematic Review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. Journal of the American Medical Association, 320(18), 1910-1928. doi: 10.1001/jama.2018.12086

Pearson, M. R., Bravo, A. J., Kirouac, M., & Witkiewitz, K. (2017). The search for an elusive cutoff remains: Problems of binary classification of heavy drinking as an endpoint for alcohol clinical trials. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 171, 91-96. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.11.015

Pearson, M. R., Kirouac, M., & Witkiewitz, K. (2016). Questioning the validity of the 4+/5+ binge or heavy drinking criterion in college and clinical populations. Addiction, 111(10), 1720-1726. doi: 10.1111/add.13210

Piano, M. R., Mazzuco, A., Kang, M., & Phillips, S. A. (2017). Binge drinking episodes in young adults: How should we measure them in a research setting? Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78(4), 502-511. doi: 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.502

Reyna, C., & Brussino, S. (2011). Revisión de los fundamentos del análisis de clases latentes y ejemplo de aplicación en el área de las adicciones. Trastornos Adictivos, 13(1), 11-19. doi: 10.1016/S1575-0973(11)70004-6

Rodríguez Durán, C. A., Echeverría San Vicente, L., Martínez Martínez, K. I., & Morales Chainé, S. (2017). Intervención breve para adolescentes que inician el consumo abusivo de alcohol y otras drogas: su eficacia en un escenario clínico. Revista Internacional de Investigación en Adicciones, 3(1), 16-27. doi: 10.28931/riiad.2017.1.03

Romero-Martínez, M., Téllez-Rojo Solís, M. M., Sandoval-Zárate, A. A., Zurita-Luna, J. M., & Gutiérrez-Reyes, J. P. (2013). Análisis retrospectivo de la Encuesta Nacional de Adicciones 2008. Identificación y corrección de sesgo. Salud Pública de México, 55(3), 337-347. doi: 10.21149/spm.v55i3.7217

Solís, T. C., Gorab, R. A., & Fernández-Varela, M. H. (2012a). Consumo de tabaco, alcohol y sustancias ilícitas en estudiantes de la zona metropolitana de la Ciudad de México que ingresaron a bachillerato o licenciatura en 2006. In Reidl Martínez, L. M. (Ed.). Desarrollo de nuevos modelos para la prevención y el tratamiento de conductas adictivas. Seminarios académicos (pp. 203-214). México: UNAM-Miguel Ángel Porrúa.

Solís, T. C., Gorab, R. A., & Fernández-Varela, M. H. (2012b). Consumo de tabaco, alcohol y sustancias ilícitas en estudiantes de la zona metropolitana de la Ciudad de México que ingresaron a bachillerato o licenciatura en 2007. In Reidl Martínez, L. M. (Ed.). Desarrollo de nuevos modelos para la prevención y el tratamiento de conductas adictivas. Seminarios académicos (pp. 215-236). México: UNAM-Miguel Ángel Porrúa.

Strunin, L., Díaz-Martínez, A., Díaz-Martínez, L. R., Kuranz, S., Hernández-Ávila, C., & Fernández-Varela, H. (2015a). Changes in alcohol use among first year university students in Mexico. Substance Use & Misuse, 50(1), 106-113. doi: 10.3109/10826084.2014.960591

Strunin, L., Díaz-Martínez, L. R., Díaz-Martínez, A., Heeren, T., Winter, M., Kuranz, S., … Solís-Torres, C. (2015b). Drinking patterns and victimization among male and female students in Mexico. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 50(2), 226-235. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu092

Tanner-Smith, E. E., & Lipsey, M. W. (2015). Brief alcohol interventions for adolescents and young adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 51, 1-18. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2014.09.001

Villatoro, V. J., Moreno, L. M., Gutiérrez, L. M., Sánchez, P. V., Bretón, C. M., Gaytan, F. F., … Buenabad, A. N. (2012). Consumo de drogas, alcohol, tabaco y sus factores asociados en estudiantes de bachillerato y universitarios. In Reidl Martínez, L. M. (Ed.). Desarrollo de nuevos modelos para la prevención y el tratamiento de conductas adictivas (pp. 121-139). México: UNAM-Miguel Ángel Porrúa.

Villatoro, V. J., Oliva, N., Mujica, R., Fregoso, D., Bustos, M., & Medina-Mora, M. E. (2015). Panorama Actual del Consumo de Sustancias en Estudiantes de la Ciudad de México. Retrieved from

Wechsler, H., & Nelson, T. F. (2001). Binge drinking and the American college student: What’s five drinks? Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 15(4), 287-291. doi: 10.1037/0893-164X.15.4.287

Wechsler, H., Davenport, A., Dowdall, G., Moeykens, B., & Castillo, S. (1994). Health and Behavioral Consequences of Binge Drinking in College: A National Survey of Students at 140 Campuses. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 272(21), 1672-1677. doi: 10.1001/jama.1994.03520210056032

Wetherill, R. R., & Fromme, K. (2016). Alcohol‐induced blackouts: A review of recent clinical research with practical implications and recommendations for future studies. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 40(5), 922-935. doi: 10.1111/acer.13051

Witkiewitz, K., Kirouac, M., Roos, C. R., Wilson, A. D., Hallgren, K. A., Bravo, A. J., … Maisto, S. A. (2018). Abstinence and low risk drinking during treatment: Association with psychosocial functioning, alcohol use, and alcohol problems 3 years following treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 32(6), 639-646. doi: 10.1037/adb0000381

World Health Organization. (2018). Global status report on alcohol and health 2018. In Poznyak, V., & Rekve, D. (Eds.). World Health Organization. Retrieved from