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College Drinking Prevention - Changing the Culture

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What Colleges Need to Know Now: An Update on College Drinking Research

A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges

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Reducing Alcohol Problems on Campus: A Guide to Planning and Evaluation

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"Underage drinking and excessive drinking have negative effects on everything we’re trying to do as a university. They compromise the educational environment, the safety of our students, the quality of life on campus, town/gown relationships, and our reputation."

—Dr. Judith Ramaley, Former President, University of Vermont

Other than the damage and injuries that occur during spring break each year, the only consequences of college drinking that usually come to the public's attention are occasional student deaths from alcohol overuse (e.g., alcohol poisoning) or other alcohol-related tragedies. They prompt a brief flurry of media attention; then, the topic disappears until the next incident. In fact, the consequences of college drinking are much more than occasional; at least 1,400 college student deaths a year are linked to alcohol, as new research described in this report reveals. High-risk drinking also results in serious injuries, assaults, and other health and academic problems, and is a major factor in damage to institutional property. The relative scarcity of headlines about college drinking belies an important fact: the consequences of excessive college drinking are more widespread and destructive than most people realize. While only isolated incidents tend to make news, many school presidents conclude that these pervasive, albeit less obvious, problems are occurring on their campuses at the same time. It is a persistent and costly problem that affects virtually all residential colleges, college communities, and college students, whether they drink or not.

The call to action on campus has to do not so much with drinking per se, but with the consequences of excessive drinking by college students. Students who drink excessively have higher rates of injuries, assaults, academic problems, arrests, vandalism, and other health and social problems, compared with their nondrinking counterparts. They disrupt the studies and threaten the health and safety of their peers.

College Drinking Is a Culture

The Answer: Change the Culture. The Question: How?

A Snapshot of Annual High-Risk College Drinking Consequences


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Historical document
Last reviewed: 9/23/2005

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