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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Report Recommends New Approach to College Drinking

Social media messaging, screening, and interventions offer new tools to help colleges prevent and reduce excessive drinking, according to a report authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher, working with a group of experts.

The report recommends that colleges use mobile technology to address heavy drinking on campuses as part of a comprehensive approach that includes consistent enforcement of drinking age and consumption laws, trained intervention specialists, and a crackdown on low-priced serving methods such as kegs and “happy hours.”

“Low prices and easy availability of essentially unlimited amounts of alcohol, especially served in large containers in poorly supervised settings, create an almost insurmountable barrier to effective action to prevent and reduce harm,” says the report, authored by Dr. David Rosenbloom, professor of health policy and management at BUSPH. The work was supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Dr. Rosenbloom said the group of experts recognized that students “organize and live their lives on their smartphones and social media, making it possible to reach them at exactly the time they need information and help to avoid harm.” He added, however, that social media tools “need to be utilized in the context of comprehensive policies that address price, access and accountability.”

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