New Techniques Could Reduce College Drinking

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_326421a366.jpgPurestock/Thinkstock (PROVIDENCE, R.I.) -- Colleges that want to minimize alcohol use on campus would do well to screen incoming freshman and offer interventions to those particularly at risk of binge drinking. A team led by Brown University assistant professor Lori Scott-Sheldon discovered common drinking patterns in a series of controlled clinical trials that examined the effectiveness of interventions.

After interviewing 24,000 U.S. college freshmen over the past decade, Scott-Sheldon learned the technique that worked best was a personalized feedback report.  In this way, students measured their drinking against others, how much they actually spent on alcohol and occasionally, their actual blood-alcohol levels.

Through self-evaluation, students cut back on the quantity of alcohol they consumed as well the frequency of drinking.  It also helped them avoid the consequences of problem drinking.

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