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Medical News & Perspectives
August 26, 2009

College Binge Drinking Still on the Rise

JAMA. 2009;302(8):836-837. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1154

Despite efforts at prevention, the prevalence of binge drinking among college students is continuing to rise, and so are the harms associated with it.

Researchers with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) said the proportion of college students aged 18 to 24 years who engaged in binge drinking (defined as having 5 or more drinks on an occasion in the previous 30 days) increased from 41.7% in 1998 to 44.7% in 2005. At the same time, the number of deaths from unintentional alcohol-related injury increased from 1440 in 1998 to 1825 in 2005, or 18.5 to 19.0 per 100 000 students (a 3% increase, although the increase was not statistically significant). Also, the proportion of those who reported driving under the influence of alcohol in the past year increased from 26.5% to 28.9% (Hingson RW et al. J Stud Alcohol Drugs Suppl. 2009;[16]:12-20).

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