We need to teach our young people not to drink abusively by creating an alcohol culture that promotes responsible and healthy behavior
(Vocus) March 26, 2009
Recent statistics from the Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, Pennsylvania, indicate that the excessive drinking behavior often associated with Spring Break is not confined to the time students spend off campus, and instead persists throughout the year at alarming levels. Choose Responsibility, an organization determined to address the binge drinking culture in America, recognizes the need to address this growing problem before it gets worse.
In 2008, emergency room personnel working near the campus of Penn State University treated a record number of students for alcohol related problems. These hospital visits were so common that the total number of students treated increased 84% since 2005. In addition, the average blood alcohol level of students seeking treatment rose from 0.234 to 0.252 percent, more than three times the legal limit for intoxication.
“These are grim numbers,” said John McCardell, president of Choose Responsibility. “Binge drinking is as serious an alcohol related problem today as drunk driving was two decades ago, and it is time for a serious solution. These statistics clearly show that dangerous, life-threatening drinking is not limited to one time of the academic year like Spring Break or fraternity pledge.” Despite the fact that high profile incidents often occur in Spring Break locations, America’s universities and communities are at the front lines of this problem throughout the year.
Across the country, alcohol contributes to some 1,700 deaths, 599,000 injuries, and 97,000 cases of sexual assault among college students every year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that approximately one in six teenagers have drunk so much that they blacked out and couldn’t remember what happened the night before.
“We need to teach our young people not to drink abusively by creating an alcohol culture that promotes responsible and healthy behavior,” said McCardell.
Office: (202) 543-8760
E-mail: ndesantis (at) chooseresponsibility (dot) org