[CR] Week in Review

Early this week, the NIAAA released updated statistics that show an increase in binge drinking and alcohol-related non-traffic deaths among the 18-24 age population from 1998 to 2005. These new numbers clearly indicate that our current approach to alcohol education isn’t working – the problems continue to get worse despite millions of dollars spent on prevention campaigns. When asked for comment, [CR] President John McCardell told Inside Higher Ed‘s Stephanie Lee that in light of these increases, “it’s hard for me to say that a law that says you may not drink until you’re 21 can be deemed successful.” Here are some other noteworthy news items from the week, many of which reference these statistics:

Stories this week:

Following up on his article called “Teach Drinking” in the latest issue of The Atlantic, Dr. McCardell joined Air America’s Ron Reagan for a segment on The Ron Reagan Show Thursday night. You can listen to the segment in the Air America archives (subscription required – look for the 6/18/09 full show).

Wendy Melillo, a contributor at MediaPost and an Assistant Professor at American University’s School of Communication, wrote a blunt summary of many college students’ attitudes about alcohol in the introduction to her article about a new responsible drinking campaign at Syracuse University: “When the adults finally shut up and asked college students what would solve the problem of binge drinking on college campuses, they got revealing answers. No federal law will stop us from drinking alcohol, students said. What we need is to be taught to drink responsibly — so we don’t do something stupid.” Read the rest of her article for the details on the new program at Syracuse.

Did you catch the coverage of SUNY Stony Brook’s Red Watch Band in USA Today earlier in the week? If not, it’s available here.

In other news…

Via the Associated Press, the Miami Herald reported on a new study performed by researchers at the Florida Department of Children and Families which highlights the economic costs of underage drinking in Florida. Could you have guessed that underage drinking costs the state a total of $3 billion annually, including $316 million just to deal with violent crime committed by underage drinkers?

In another Inside Higher Ed piece, Stephanie Lee wrote about new efforts by college administrators to tame heavy Thursday night drinking by adjusting class schedules. These strategies emerged as a result of a 2008 study conducted at Loyola University in Maryland which showed that “students without Friday classes reported drinking an average of 3.38 drinks the day before, roughly four times more than those with a Friday class before 10 a.m.”

Did you catch something that we missed? Leave a link in the comments.

One Response to “[CR] Week in Review”

  1. Edwin Says:

    It’s unfortunate that alcohol abuse is increasing among young adults because of the deaths associated with it. In addition, The drinking age must be lowered to 18 along with an alcohol education program. The consequences of enforcing the ageist drinking age is evident in Florida’s yearly $3 billion cost on “underage” drinking. Universities must not schedule classes for Friday mornings because of binge drinking because the answer is to lower thet drinking age to 18 with the program and not more ageist options.