56 percent of college students binge drink

Sept. 11, 2009 at 4:24 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Eighteen U.S. campuses that reported binge heavy drinking in 1993, showed little change more than a dozen years later, U.S. researchers found.

Lead researcher Toben F. Nelson, an assistant professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, said in 1993, 58 percent of students reported binge drinking in the past two weeks; in 2005, 56 percent said the same. For the purposes of this study, binge drinking was defined as at least four or five drinks in a row.

The study, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, found 28 percent of students in 1993 said they frequently binged on alcohol, while 32 percent of students said they binged on alcohol in 2005.

Nelson said the study did not look at what, if any, measures the colleges had taken to combat student drinking.

"Clearly the work is not over, because what has been done so far has not put a dent in the problem," Nelson said in a statement.

Nelson's team found 88.5 percent of the students reported any drinking in 1993, while 86 percent reported any drinking in 2005. In 1993, 37 percent of students said they had driven after drinking, and in 2005, the figure was the same, the study said.

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