A bill sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Mike DeWine (R-OH) would tackle underage drinking on college campuses and universities by awarding $50 million dollars in grants for states. Grants would fund projects such as providing alcohol-free events, support groups, and information to students to reinforce that alcohol and drug-use is not the only way to have fun.
“Binge drinking is a problem that touches not just a few students and their families, but entire communities,” said Lieberman. “This trend among students to not just drink, but to drink in excess, in fact, to drink themselves to death, must be stopped before more damage is done. If the tragic and unnecessary deaths of six Connecticut college students in one year from alcohol abuse isn’t enough to get this legislation passed, I don’t know what will do it.”
“Currently, 28 states, including my home state of Ohio, have coalitions which deal with the culture of alcohol and drug abuse in our nation’s college communities,” said DeWine. “They work with the surrounding community including local residents, bar, restaurant and shop owners, and law enforcement officials, towards a common goal of changing the college culture of substance abuse.”
According to a 1999 Harvard University study, 40 percent of college students are binge drinkers and according to the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 10 and a half million current drinkers were under the legal age of 21. Of these, over five million were binge drinkers.