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Underage Drinking Continues to Plague Colleges
Studies show that underage drinking and drunk driving at colleges hasn't changed much over a dozen years. This behavior may lead to injury and other dire consequences.

A new study of underage drinking at colleges shows students’ drinking habits haven’t changed much over a dozen years.

The research published in the “Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs” shows that drinking at 18 colleges reveals binge drinking is a common activity. In 2005, 56 percent of students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks, down a mere two percent from 1993 figures. In 1993, 28 percent of students said they binged frequently; in 2005, the number was up to 32 percent.

The University of Minnesota study focused on 18 U.S. colleges that had, in 1993, reported serious problems with alcohol abuse among students. More than half of the students at each college reported recent bouts of binge drinking (having at least four drinks in a row).

The research also shows no decline in the percent of students who drive drunk. In both 1993 and 2005, 37 percent of the students said they had driven after drinking.

A 2007 study of America’s more than five million college students reported that nearly half indulge in binge drinking or drug abuse at least once a month.

That Columbia University research showed that prescription drug abuse had increased markedly from the mid-1990s. It showed that 22.9 percent of college students meet the medical definition for alcohol or drug abuse, compared with 8.5 percent of all people aged 12 or older.

For many students, alcohol and drug abuse lead to legal problems involving arrests for DUI or underage possession of alcohol, expulsion or other academic discipline by the school, as well as health problems from injuries and unprotected sex while intoxicated.

Keywords: underage drinking
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