Updated 08/25/2011 05:07 PM
Study finds dangers of binge drinking
College students all over the country are heading back to school and as officials prep for the new school year, education about alcohol is at the top of their list. Our Rachael Paradis has more on what a recent study found and how it impacts college students.
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UNITED STATES -- Binge drinking. It's not an uncommon activity for young adults, especially throughout college campuses nationwide. And as SUNY Potsdam and other schools welcome new classes, officials are making sure students know the facts.
SUNY Potsdam Student Conduct Coordinator Annette Robbins said, "We're not looking to tell people they can't drink, but, to make better choices."
According to a recent study by Blue Cross Blue Shield, binge drinking is the third leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. and about 17 percent of adults in New York have admitted to binge drinking.
One of the main problems college campuses see is students not understanding that binge drinking is having four or five drinks within just a few hours.
SUNY Potsdam Health Coordinator Bridget Bradish said, "They'll drink a big beer cup full of punch and it may have five shots in it, but they think they're only drinking one drink. The body just cannot process that much that fast. That's how college students end up dying, they drink too much too fast."
In fact, about 1,800 college students across the U.S. die from alcohol related deaths each year, including injury and vehicle crashes. Binge drinking is also related to assault, violence and suicide.
Robbins said, "A student can fall down a set of stairs and nobody know that they are there. If they choke on their own vomit, they could come pass out and may not be found until the next morning."
Bradish said, "When you drink alcohol, your inhibitions are lowered and your ability to make good judgment isn't good. So what seems like a good idea at the time, the next morning isn't such a good idea."
Now, every school has their own way of dealing with alcohol on campus, but what is common is classes at the beginning of the year teaching kids how liquor affects your system, or how you can drink safely. Also, generally students who get in trouble because of alcohol take more courses and sometime have to attend Alcoholics Anonymous. Officials we spoke with say that education is key to keeping their students safe and successful.
For more information on the dangers of alcohol, visit www.cdc.gov.