Assessing Alcohol Problems in Student Populations
Patrick D. Smith, Dedra B. Wells, and Katurah Abdul-Salaam
While concerted efforts have been made to increase alcohol awareness and decrease drinking among college students, problem drinking on university campuses across the country continues at alarming rates. National survey data indicate more stable and higher rates of heavy drinking among students at colleges and universities than among same-age peers ( Johnston, O'Malley, & Bachman, 1991). Recent studies have reported alcohol use rates from 88 to 95 percent among college students, with as many as 80 percent reporting alcohol use in the past thirty days ( Johnson, O'Malley, & Bachman, 1991). It has been reported that 1.1 million young people in the United States alone abuse alcohol ( Presley, Meilman, & Lyerla, 1994; Saltz & Elandt, 1986; Johnston, O'Malley, & Bachman, 1991; Pope, Ionescu- Pioggia, Aizley, & Varma, 1990; Smith, 1991). Most of what we know about the rates of drinking and problem drinking among students has been from survey data, since most alcohol-related problems among college students go undetected and treatment needs go unmet.
Recently, the U.S. Surgeon General estimated that college students spend $4.2 billion on alcoholic beverages annually and called for a reduction in alcohol use on college campuses (Office for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1991). The continued heavy and frequent use of alcohol among college students in the United States has also become a primary subject of concern to college administrators ( Wechsler, Isaac, Grodstein, & Sellers, 1994). The Carnegie Foundation reported that presidents of U.S. colleges and universities identified substance abuse, specifically alcohol abuse, as the most pressing problem on campuses today ( Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement
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Publication information: Book title: Substance Abuse on Campus:A Handbook for College and University Personnel. Contributors: P. Clayton Rivers - Editor, Elsie R. Shore - Editor. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 165.
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