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High-Risk Alcohol Use among North Dakota College Students Is on the Decline

Posted on 4/6/2011

For More Information Contact:
Debra A. Anderson, Director of Public Affairs & Marketing
North Dakota University System
Phone: 701.328.2962

BISMARCK, N.D. - High-risk alcohol use among North Dakota college students is declining, according to the NDCORE Alcohol and Other Drug Survey report presented today during a State Board of Higher Education conference call meeting.

Key findings of the report include:
  • Students who reported consuming five or more alcoholic drinks in one sitting (binge drinking) in the previous two weeks decreased from 50.5 percent in 2008 to 48.3 percent in 2010. (Both numbers represent a downward trend from the 55 percent reported in a 2003-05 study.)

  • The average number of drinks consumed by students per week is down from 5.39 in 2008 to 4.78 in 2010.

  • Consequences/negative impacts encountered by students because of drinking/use of other drugs also decreased. For example, 29.7 percent of students reported missing a class because of alcohol/other drug use in 2010 compared to 33 percent in 2008.

  • 89.6 percent of students said alcohol is not necessary to have a good time.

  • 92.1 percent of student reported being familiar with campus policies regarding alcohol and other drugs.

  • In contrast to the declining alcohol use, the percentage of North Dakota college students who reported using marijuana in the past year increased slightly from 22.7 percent in 2008 to 23.5 percent in 2010; this compares to a national college student usage rate of 31.1 percent.

"Alcohol is still the number one drug of choice," said Jane Vangsness Frisch, director of the Higher Education Consortium for Substance Abuse Prevention, in her report to the SBHE. "However, the majority of North Dakota college students are not consuming alcohol in high-risk ways. In fact, the number of students who choose to abstain from alcohol use is increasing."

"The consistent downward trend in high-risk alcohol use among college students can be attributed, in part, to the prevention efforts of the campuses and strong State Board of Higher Education policies related to alcohol and other drugs. These numbers reflect a changing campus environment where almost 90 percent of North Dakota college students now say alcohol is not necessary to have a good time," said Vangsness Frisch.

The Higher Education Consortium for Substance Abuse Prevention uses evidence-based prevention strategies and partners with local community and statewide prevention efforts. The NDCORE Alcohol and Other Drug Survey is conducted every two years among undergraduate students from the 11 North Dakota University System campuses and Jamestown College. The 2010 survey involved 3,951 students.

Bismarck State CollegeDakota College at BottineauDickinson State UniversityLake Region State CollegeMayville State UniversityMinot State UniversityNorth Dakota State College of ScienceNorth Dakota State UniversityUniversity of North DakotaValley City State UniversityWilliston State College
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