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Books Or Booze? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Recently the media has reported many alcohol-related deaths. It is all around. Colleges are not safe when it comes to students and alcohol. Could it be that students away from home find their independence through drinking? What about the stresses of starting a new school, making friends and getting to know an unfamiliar place? Maybe it's even problems with grades or money. Many students think pounding a few beers cures all.

Many will attend college and encounter many drinking decisions. Some think college is nothing but a four-year party with a 20,000 dollar cover charge, including classes on how to tap the keg and where to buy the cheapest case.

Half of college men and a third of college women are binge drinkers (having more than five drinks in one sitting). Could this be why 360,000 of the nation's 12 million undergraduates will die from alcohol-related causes? This is more than the number of people who will earn their Masters and Ph.D. degrees.

Every year college students spend an estimated 5.5 billion dollars on alcohol. This is more than they spend on books, soda, coffee, juice and milk combined. This averages $466 dollars per student a year. Could this have anything to do with the fact that beer manufacturers spend 15 to 20 million dollars yearly to promote their products to college students?

College students drink an estimated four billion cans of beer each year. They consume 430 gallons of alcohol, enough for every college and university to fill an Olympic size swimming pool.

Almost 4% of all college students drink daily. The number of college women who drink to get drunk has more than tripled in the past ten years, increasing from 10% to 35%. With all the recent studies showing unacceptable results you have to ask what is being done.

Jessica Dalton, a student at the University of Maine, shared her school's policy: "They are very strict. If you get caught drinking by a room advisor you are written up and forced to attend AA meetings and must see a psychiatrist. You are allowed three write ups before expulsion. You can even get written up at the legal age of 21." tf


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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