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UNDERAGE COLLEGE DRINKERS DRINK MORE




Underage college drinkers have easy access to alcohol, pay less and consume more per occasion than older students despite the national 21-year minimum drinking age law.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health say about one-half of college students are under age 21, and regular use and abuse of alcohol is part of many students' environments. Underage students reported that it's "easy" or "very easy" to obtain alcohol, are more likely to drink in private, and can obtain alcohol inexpensively. The Boston researchers say the easy access to cheap alcohol fuels binge drinking. Underage students are more likely to experience alcohol-related problems -- such as unplanned sexual activity, injuries or property damage, trouble with police or treatment for alcohol overdose. The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, also found that students under 21 are half again as likely as of-age students to drive after drinking.

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  • Alcohol Facts
  • Since the 1980s, the proportion of fatally injured passenger vehicle drivers with BACs at or above 0.08 percent declined more among 16-20 year-olds than among older drivers, but these declines ended in 1995.
  • The average age at admission for alcohol with a secondary drug problem was 33 compared with 38 for alcohol-only admissions.
  • Pregnant women who drink risk having babies with fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • Heavy drinking over a long period of time increases the risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and some kinds of stroke.