Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Commission Reports on Substance Abuse on American Campuses

Magazine article The Alcoholism Report

Commission Reports on Substance Abuse on American Campuses

Article excerpt

The Commission on Substance Abuse at College and Universities of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) on June 7 released the findings of its two year examination of substance abuse on American campuses in a study titled, "Rethinking Rites of Passage: Alcohol Abuse on America's Campuses."

As part of the study the commission examined the relationships between women and alcohol and found that over the past 15 years, the percentage of women drinking with the intention of getting drunk has more than tripled, from approximately 10 percent to 35 percent.

College Women and Alcohol

According to the commission's report, alcohol abuse by both men and women at colleges and universities today has far more serious consequences for women than at any time in the past. Among the commission's findings:

* Sixty percent of college women who have acquired sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS were under the influence of alcohol at the time they had intercourse.

* Ninety percent of all campus rapes occur when alcohol is being used by either the assailant, the victim or both.

* If current trends continue, the incidence of AIDS among college age women (now one in 700 compared to one in 200 for males) will eventually surpass the incidence of AIDS among men.

"With greater risks of AIDS and other potentially tragic consequences, alcohol abuse on campus has now reached crisis proportions," said commission chairman and president of the University of Notre Dame, Father Edward Malloy.

Alcohol's Widespread Impact

"Alcohol abuse is a serious threat to the development of our nation's best and brightest young men and women, robbing them and our nation of their promising futures," said founding chairman and president of CASA, Joseph Califano.

When the commission examined the impact alcohol abuse has on college campuses, they found:

* Ninety-five percent of violent crime and 53 percent of all injuries on campuses are alcohol-related.

* Eighty percent of all vandalism on campus is alcohol-related.

* Alcohol is implicated in some 41 percent of all academic problems and 28 percent of all dropouts.

* Each year, students spend over $5.5 billion on alcoholic beverages (mostly beer)--more than they spend on all other drinks (e.g. soda, tea, milk, juice and coffee) and books combined. …

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