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A recent article published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors (discussed here by The Vancouver Sun) has drawn attention to the important topic of college binge drinking. The research presented in the article highlights college students’ perceptions that the positive effects associated with drinking outweigh the negative consequences in terms of influence on future drinking. Unfortunately, there are negative consequences associated with dangerous alcohol overconsumption including death and injury as well as legal and academic problems for many college students each year.

Students overwhelmingly believe that a majority of the time their alcohol consumption levels are safe and generally acceptable. On occasions when college students do feel they have over-consumed, less than a quarter say they result in an experience they would never like to repeat. While a variety of experiences occur when they drink too much, the most frequently cited are short-term and related to the next day’s embarrassment and regret – being physically sick and humiliating oneself – not the serious and/or long-term negative consequences that parents and administrators worry about.

Our Stop College Binge Drinking initiative is a comprehensive, multi-faceted research effort designed to promote new ways of tackling the problem of dangerous alcohol overconsumption on campus among various members of the campus community. Our own research among college students and that from the student led campaigns on campuses corroborates the research findings presented in this article.