Health Department Symposium Will Address Alcohol Abuse on Campuses
For Immediate Release: Oct. 3, 2012
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
BURLINGTON – Online survey data collected from students at 13 Vermont colleges show higher than average use of alcohol (76 percent), binge drinking (53 percent), tobacco use (30 percent) and more than double the national average use of marijuana (38 percent), according to the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE).
The Vermont Department of Health is taking positive steps to address the issue by sponsoring a symposium to discuss solutions to high risk drinking on college campuses at Norwich University on Oct. 9 (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in the Milano Room at Roberts/Crawford Hall.
Strategies to be shared by national experts include how college officials can encourage students to challenge the college drinking culture and advocate for change; and practical ways to effectively control alcohol use on campus.
“Substance abuse, particularly high risk drinking and marijuana use among college students continues to rank among the Health Department’s priorities and we know it is of great concern to Vermont’s institutions of higher education as well,” said Vermont Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen, MD.
The survey data shows substance use was lower in 2010 than in 2008, but only slightly (binge drinking was down from 58 percent to 54 percent).
Featured guest speakers are Bob Saltz, senior scientist and associate director of the Prevention Research Center in Berkeley California; and William DeJong, a professor from the Boston University School of Public Health. More than 100 people have registered for the symposium, which is for higher education staff, substance abuse prevention workers, community partners and student leaders.
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