Colleges Need to Target High-Risk Binge Drinkers, Study Says
Environmental prevention strategies need to be coupled with interventions targeting high-risk individuals to effectively combat campus binge drinking, according to researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The Montreal Gazette reported Dec. 16 that researchers said that half a million college students in the U.S. suffered injuries each year as a result of binge drinking. Many of those injuries are suffered by frequent, heavy drinkers, up to 40 percent of whom have been injured due to drinking, according to the study.
“There’s a particular subset of students who are very likely to suffer alcohol-related injuries,” said researcher Marlon P. Mundt. “If we’re going to focus efforts on reducing injuries, we have to recognize that this subset of heavy frequent drinkers with a high sensation-seeking disposition is really putting themselves at high risk.”
Mundt said a five-minute survey could identify “sensation-seeking” frequent, heavy drinkers on campus. “They’re identifiable. You just have to be looking for them,” he said.
The study was published in the September 2009 issue of the journal Alcohol: Clinical and Experimental Research.