College Drinking Survey: Nearly Half of Maryland Students Binge Drink

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(Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

(Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. — About 47 percent of Maryland college students who responded to a survey on alcohol consumption engaged in binge drinking during the month before they were asked, according to a survey released Tuesday.

In the first Maryland College Alcohol Survey, binge drinking was defined as five or more drinks in a row within two hours for men and four drinks or more for women at least once in the past month.

William Kirwan, the University System of Maryland Chancellor, said the survey showed the rate of student drinking in Maryland reflected a rate of binge drinking similar to the national average.

“This survey gives us the necessary information to build on what colleges are already doing with new, more targeted strategies and develop interventions tailored to the specific needs of each school in our collaborative,” Kirwan said.

The survey was initiated by 10 college and university presidents and paid for by the state.

The survey found that about one-third of students who drank excessively during the past year reported blacking out. About 24 percent reported missing class due to drinking or performing poorly on a test. About 14 percent responded that they were hurt or injured, and 13 percent reported driving a car when they had been drinking, while 8 percent damaged property. About 7 percent said they were taken advantage of sexually.

The Maryland Collaborative to Reduce Drinking and Related Problems, which includes the 10 colleges and universities, has been focusing on reducing alcohol abuse at the state’s colleges. The group led a push to ban grain alcohol in Maryland in the last legislative session. The ban, which was approved, took effect last month.

The survey of 4,209 students began in February and remained open between 10 and 33 days. It was conducted by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland, College Park’s School of Public Health. Schools began implementing surveys in February. It was finished before spring break, when many students are known to drink more. The survey received responses from 4,209 students across the state between the ages of 18 and 25, with the 63 percent being younger than 21.

The participating schools were: Allegany College of Maryland, Frostburg State University, Johns Hopkins University, Loyola University Maryland, McDaniel College, Notre Dame of Maryland University, Towson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

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(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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