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Release: Immediate


New findings from landmark college binge drinking study to be released

New findings from the nation's pre-eminent survey and analysis of college-level drinking will be released at a news conference Thursday, Sept. 10, at 12 noon EDT in Boston, Mass. The report, published in the next issue of the Journal of American College Health, is a follow-up to the landmark study of 1993, which raised public awareness about the problem of binge drinking on college campuses.

Henry Wechsler of the Harvard School of Public Health conducted the study. It is based on the responses of 14,521 students surveyed in 1997 and compared to those of 15,103 students surveyed in 1993. The study involves students at 116 colleges in 39 states, including the University of Iowa. It was conducted under a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The 1993 study was the first national study in almost 50 years to track just how widespread and harmful binge drinking had become. It found that 44 percent of students qualified as binge drinkers who experienced numerous alcohol problems themselves and imposed negative second-hand effects on 87 percent on non-binging students. Today, binge drinking is widely recognized as the most serious public health problem confronting American colleges.

Copies of a news release summarizing the Harvard study will be made available to reporters beginning at 11 a.m. CDT, along with a news release summarizing statistics on binge drinking from the UI.

Spokespersons from the Stepping Up Coalition, the community/campus coalition to reduce binge drinking and its second-hand effects, will be available to comment. They are:
* Carolyn Cavitt, chair of the Stepping Up Coalition, 354-5000
* Mary Sue Coleman, UI president and coalition member, 335-3549
* Phillip E. Jones, UI Vice President for Student Services and coalition member, 335-3557
* Julie Phye, Stepping Up coordinator, 335-1349