PA Colleges Try to Stop Binge Drinking

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PA Colleges Try to Stop Binge Drinking

Within the past year, several colleges and college towns in Pennsylvania have employed new measures in attempts to reduce the potential for alcohol-infused chaos.Last spring, Pennsylvania State University paid 34 State College bars and restaurants more than $167,000 to abstain from serving alcohol to anyone during the student-organized “State Patty’s Day.” And at the University of Pennsylvania, a task force staffed by a variety of university officials is working on a yearlong evaluation of the school’s alcohol and safety policies. Officials acknowledge that excessive drinking in college is no new phenomenon and that it is not likely to disappear any time soon.

But several figures suggest the percentage of students who binge drink has decreased in recent years. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 44% of college students in 2002 had been “binge drinking” (consuming five or more drinks on the same occasion) within the last month, but in 2012, figures show, that number was about 40%. A representative from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, said, however, there are a few other important factors, including a 25% rise in overdoses solely related to alcohol, and a 76% rise in overdoses involving alcohol and other drugs, between 1999 and 2008. He also cited his 2006 study of about 10,000 college freshmen. It found that approximately 45% of the males had participated in binge drinking, and about a quarter of that group consumed 15 drinks or more.

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