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College Students More Likely to Drink Heavily, Drive Drunk

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A review of published research shows that college students are more likely to binge drink and drive drunk than their peers who are not in school, Reuters reported April 18.

Researcher Ralph Hingson of Boston University and colleagues noted that an estimated 2.8 million college students drive while intoxicated, and that one in four say they binge-drink (for men, consuming five or more drinks at a sitting; for women, having four or more drinks at a sitting) on a regular basis. “Even with the most conservative estimates, the numbers are staggering,” said Hingson.

The research review suggests that colleges need to change their approach to student drinking, said Hingson, including working with local police to enforce drunk-driving laws and underage-drinking laws. Screening students for alcohol problems and referring them to counseling also could help, Hingson said.

The findings were published in the Annual Review of Public Health, 2005.

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