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Alcohol: A Serious Issue on Campuses across the Nation

             Alcohol use by underage drinkers is a persistent public health problem in the United States, and alcohol is the most commonly used drug among adolescents. Each year, alcohol accounts for approximately 1,400 deaths, 500,000 injuries, 600,000 assaults and 70,000 cases of sexual assault and acquaintance rape on college campuses across America. In contrast to what many college students believe, alcohol abuse is a serious problem on campuses. To understand why alcohol is such a problem, we must look at factors which lead students to use alcohol, the affects alcohol has on students, and what is being done to prevent alcohol abuse on college campuses. .
             In a recent study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol, shows the widespread and harmful "binge" drinking has become by college students. The study showed that 84 percent of all students surveyed reported drinking during the school year and nearly half of all the students qualified as binge drinkers and 19 percent as frequent binge drinkers. One third of all the schools surveyed qualified as high-binge campuses, which meant more than half of the responding students were binge drinkers. (Wechsler) Binge drinking is defined as the heavy, episodic use of alcohol, which in other words is the consumption of five or more alcoholic beverages in a brief period of time. Everybody may have their own reasons for drinking, so there is no one answer to why students drink. Researchers suggest a combination of factors which include:.
             • Common human-development issues confronting students;.
             • The influence of the larger culture as well as peers;.
             • Individual physical-genetic predispositions toward drug dependency;.
             • Students" rational-cognitive responses to the risks and expected rewards of binge drinking. (Maust).
             I believe one of the most significant reasons why students may drink is from pressure from other peers and a parent's influence.

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