Education on Binge Drinking Not Always Effective

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Education on Binge Drinking Not Always Effective

New research shows education on binge drinking only temporarily modifies drinking behavior in college students. This comes from a yearlong study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

For this study, over 1,000 college students were periodically interviewed about their drinking and social behaviors. The students also attended counseling sessions. Two-thirds of the students were required to do the counseling sessions due to violating their university’s alcohol policies, while the other one-third of students volunteered for the study. The students completed counseling sessions in three different ways: face-to-face, computerized lab sessions and online sessions. Fifty-three percent of the students interviewed were male and 87 percent white. Ethnicity did not affect findings in this study.

All participants were interviewed periodically for 12 months. After one month, 82 percent of the students reported drinking less alcohol, but by the end of the study, 84 percent increased their drinking behaviors back to their normal levels. The participants who cut their drinking levels in half were also the ones who were drinking the most in the first place.

Other findings include that females overall drink less, while freshman males drink the most.

The study’s lead author, James Henson, PhD, says that this study will help other universities understand how alcohol intervention serves students.