College Students More Likely to Drink Than Their Peers Who Aren’t in School

U.S. college students are more likely to drink and less likely to smoke than their peers who aren’t enrolled in school, a new survey finds. College students are also more likely to binge drink than 18- to 22-year-olds who are not in college.

The survey, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, found 60 percent of full-time college students said they are current drinkers, compared with 51.5 percent of their non-student peers. Among college students, 38 percent said they had a binge-drinking episode at least once in the past month, compared with 33.5 percent of their peers who were not in college, HealthDay reports.

Full story of college students alcohol consumption vs non-students at drugfree.org

Some Strategies to Protect College Students Against Drinking Too Much May Backfire

Some strategies college students use to help protect them against drinking too much may backfire, a new study suggests. Some of these strategies are associated with greater alcohol use and an increased number of consequences, the researchers tell Reuters.

Protective strategies can include making sure you go home with a friend, having a friend let you know when you’ve had enough to drink, avoiding drinking games or drinking water between alcoholic drinks.

The findings come from a study of almost 700 undergraduate college students, and 131 of their friends, who intended to go on a spring break trip and drink heavily on at least one day. They answered an online survey before and after the trip about drinking activities, protective strategies and negative consequences of drinking, such as fighting, passing out, or taking foolish risks.

Full story of protecting college students against drinking at drugfree.org

College Tries New Ways to Reduce Binge Drinking

Colleges are looking for new ways to reduce binge drinking, as part of initiatives to reduce campus sexual assaults, NPR reports.

Frostburg State University in Maryland and city police agreed in 2012 to joint jurisdiction. This allows campus police to patrol off campus, looking for house parties. The university helps to pay overtime costs for state, county, city and campus police near the school. “We know there’s going to be underage drinking,” said Frostburg State University police officer Derrick Pirolozzi. “We can’t card everybody. But we want to make sure everybody does it the right way and safe way.” The aim is to prevent bad behavior before it starts.

“The thing that’s so striking to me is that many universities perceive [binge drinking] as an intractable problem and that there’s nothing they can do,” Jonathan Gibralter, president of Frostburg State University, told NPR. When he became president in 2006, the party scene was “out of control,” he said.

Full story of colleges to reduce binge drinking at drugfree.org

Personalized Feedback Can Help Reduce College Freshman Drinking

A program that provides college freshmen with personalized feedback on their drinking patterns can be effective in reducing their drinking, a new study suggests.

Researchers from Brown University reviewed studies of 62 programs designed to reducing drinking among college freshmen, which included more than 24,000 freshmen from around the country.

They concluded colleges should screen all freshmen within their first few weeks of school for alcohol risk, and offer interventions for those who said they drink, UPI reports. The program that provided the broadest benefits gave students a personalized feedback report, which included information such as how students’ own drinking compared with that of their peers, the costs of alcohol consumed, number of calories consumed, and blood alcohol levels. Students who had this information significantly reduced how much and how often they drank, the study found.

Full story of college drinking reduction at drugfree.org