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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
  • One in 9 who drink will be an alcoholic. Alcohol increases the concentration of dopamine and serotonin, feel-good chemicals, it disturbs levels of glutamate, which can make people feel high, and it interferes with other chemicals that can make people tired.
  • Alcohol-related crimes in the United States account for 54 percent of murders and attempted murders, 68 percent of manslaughters, 52 percent of rape/sexual assaults, and 48 percent of robberies.
  • About 10 to 20 percent of heavy drinkers develop alcoholic cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver.
  • Alcohol involvement in crashes peaks at night. Among passenger vehicle drivers fatally injured between 9 pm and 6 am in 2001, 60 percent had BACs at or above 0.08 percent, compared with 19 percent during other hours.