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Fall Semester - A Time for Parents to Discuss the Risks of College Drinking
Date:8/12/2008

ROCKVILLE, Md., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- As college students arrive on campus this fall, it's a time of new experiences, new friendships, and making memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately for many, it is also a time of excessive drinking and dealing with its aftermath-vandalism, violence, sexual aggression, and even death.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20060828/DCM007 )

According to research summarized in a College Task Force report to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the consequences of excessive drinking by college students are more significant, more destructive, and more costly than many parents realize. And these consequences affect students whether or not they drink.

Statistics from this report, which were updated recently, indicate that drinking by college students aged 18 to 24 contributes to an estimated 1,700 student deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year.

Early Weeks Are Critical

As the fall semester begins, parents can use this important time to help prepare their college-age sons and daughters by talking with them about the consequences of excessive drinking.

Some first-year students who live on campus may be at particular risk for alcohol misuse. During their high school years, those who go on to college tend to drink less than their non-college-bound classmates. However, during subsequent years, the heavy drinking rates of college students surpass those of their non-college peers.

This rapid increase in heavy drinking over a relatively short period of time can contribute to serious difficulties with the transition to college.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the first 6 weeks of the first semester are critical to a first-year student's academic success. Because many students initiate heavy drinking during these ea
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SOURCE National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
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