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J Am Coll Health. 2000 Mar;48(5):199-210.

College binge drinking in the 1990s: a continuing problem. Results of the Harvard School of Public Health 1999 College Alcohol Study.

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Department of Health and Social Behavior, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA.


In 1999, the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study resurveyed colleges that participated in the 1993 and 1997 surveys. Responses to mail questionnaires from more than 14,000 students at 119 nationally representative 4-year colleges in 39 states were compared with responses received in 1997 and 1993. Two of 5 students (44%) were binge drinkers in 1999, the same rate as in 1993. However, both abstention and frequent binge-drinking rates increased significantly. In 1999, 19% were abstainers, and 23% were frequent binge drinkers. As before, binge drinkers, and particularly frequent binge drinkers, were more likely than other students to experience alcohol-related problems. At colleges with high binge-drinking rates, students who did not binge drink continued to be at higher risk of encountering the second-hand effects of others' heavy drinking. The continuing high level of binge drinking is discussed in the context of the heightened attention and increased actions at colleges. Although it may take more time for interventions to take effect, the actions college health providers have undertaken thus far may not be a sufficient response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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