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Annu Rev Public Health. 2005;26:259-79.

Magnitude of alcohol-related mortality and morbidity among U.S. college students ages 18-24: changes from 1998 to 2001.

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1
Boston University School of Public Health, Center to Prevent Alcohol Problems Among Young People, Massachusetts 02118, USA. rhingson@bu.edu

Abstract

Integrating data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national coroner studies, census and college enrollment data for 18-24-year-olds, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, and the Harvard College Alcohol Survey, we calculated the alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths and other health problems among college students ages 18-24 in 1998 and 2001. Among college students ages 18-24 from 1998 to 2001, alcohol-related unintentional injury deaths increased from nearly 1600 to more than 1700, an increase of 6% per college population. The proportion of 18-24-year-old college students who reported driving under the influence of alcohol increased from 26.5% to 31.4%, an increase from 2.3 million students to 2.8 million. During both years more than 500,000 students were unintentionally injured because of drinking and more than 600,000 were hit/assaulted by another drinking student. Greater enforcement of the legal drinking age of 21 and zero tolerance laws, increases in alcohol taxes, and wider implementation of screening and counseling programs and comprehensive community interventions can reduce college drinking and associated harm to students and others.

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