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Colleges, communities combat off-campus student drinking
Date:6/14/2009

and forums that brought together students, neighborhood residents and law enforcement to talk about neighborhood issues.

At the beginning of the study and one year later, Saltz and his colleagues surveyed students at WWU, as well as another Washington public university that had adopted a similar program on its own and a third campus that served as a comparison site.

They found that heavy episodic drinking declined at the two intervention universities compared with the comparison school. Students in the former group were one-quarter less likely to report any heavy drinking in the past two weeks.

"The decline in the frequency of binge drinking is very promising," Saltz says, noting that, realistically, off-campus problem drinking will not be eliminated, but it can "ratcheted down."

Community-level programs are just one potential way to curb student drinking problems. Other studies reported in the JSAD issue find positive effects from projects that screen and counsel individual students for drinking problems or that target specific groups of students, such as freshman women, to prevent risky drinking.

"What we're all trying to figure out," Saltz notes, "is how to optimally blend all of these efforts to better protect the students' health and safety."


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Contact: James Copple
jcopple@pire.org
301-445-0654
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

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