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Binge drinking down but still an issue on college campuses

College is often the time when many young people first drink alcohol, even though they're still underage. It flows freely at many fraternities, sororities and other places where students party. Moderation in drinking or anything else can be difficult for young people to embrace.

In one survey, nearly a third of college students reported that they had engaged in binge drinking over the past two weeks. Binge drinking is defined as consuming at least five drinks in succession.

In a Monitoring the Future Study, which was conducted between 2005 and 2016, 12 percent of college students reported consuming at least ten drinks in a row during the past two weeks. Four percent admitted to drinking at least 15 drinks consecutively during that period.

Maryland parents might be heartened to learn that overall, college binge drinking (or at least self-reporting of it) has decreased nearly 25 percent in the past 25 years and over 20 percent in the last decade. The percentage of college students who have reported becoming drunk has been up and down since the early 1990s, but has decreased somewhat. However, if it's your child who is engaging in binge drinking, it hardly matters what the overall statistics are.

Whether your son or daughter is attending college in-state in Maryland or is living in Maryland for the first time while attending one of our many colleges and universities, it's essential that you and he or she realizes that Maryland has stiffened penalties for some alcohol-related offenses in the past couple of years -- for driving under the influence and actions related to underage alcohol consumption.

If your child is arrested for drunk driving, it's essential to understand the impact that a conviction could have on his or her college career and in the job market afterward, even if no one is hurt or worse in a crash. It might be tempting to let your child deal with it alone to learn a lesson. However, a drunk driving conviction can impact a young person's future.

Source: Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, "College Binge Drinking Statistics," accessed Aug. 07, 2017

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