Binge drinking is associated with a host of public health problems, including increased rates of drunk driving, car accidents, alcohol poisoning, and domestic violence. So it’s troubling that the first Maryland College Alcohol Survey showed that nearly half of Maryland college students reported binge drinking in the previous month.
The survey came about through a partnership between several Maryland universities and colleges, including Johns Hopkins and the University System of Maryland. They joined forces to survey more than 4,200 current undergraduates to get a sense of what student drinking looks like today. The results were alarming, if not unexpected: 60 percent of students under age 21 drank alcohol sometime in the month before the survey was taken; one-third of students had blacked out; two-thirds had suffered hangovers; and 47 percent had engaged in binge drinking. (According to the survey, binge drinking was defined as downing five alcoholic beverages within two hours for men, and four within two hours for women.)
Schools are responding to the survey results in different ways. For example, Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels announced that the university would focus its efforts on alcohol abuse at off-campus parties.
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