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Heavy-drinking colleges showing no improvements
Date:9/10/2009

endations made by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism College Drinking Task Force and recent studies that show that there are effective ways to curb college drinking. One of keys seems to be getting the wider community to work with colleges, which includes more controls on the supply of alcohol and better enforcement of laws against underage drinking and alcohol-related violations, such as drinking and driving.

Many schools focus their efforts primarily on the students -- for example, offering counseling to those who've been found to have a potential drinking problem. But, Nelson says, "we also need programs with broader reach."

In a recent JSAD supplement devoted to college drinking problems, researchers detailed programs that have shown positive results at U.S. campuses, using interventions focused on individuals as well as universities and the surrounding communities.

Parents can also do their part by helping to steer their children toward schools where alcohol is less ingrained in the culture. "Not all colleges are the stereotypical heavy-drinking campus," Nelson points out. "Parents can help their child identify a college environment that will support healthy behavior."

He says that certain characteristics of a school can serve as a tip-off that heavy drinking may be common on campus -- including a strong fraternity/sorority presence and a conspicuous number of bars surrounding the campus.


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Contact: Dr. Toben Nelson
tfnelson@umn.edu
612-626-9791
Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Source:Eurekalert

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