BUFFALO, N.Y. -- No longer considered an innocent rite of
passage, binge drinking among college students contributes to
approximately 1,800 deaths and nearly 600,000 injuries each
And that's just alcohol.
The University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions
(RIA), an internationally recognized leader on the subject of
substance use and abuse since 1970, is tackling this problem head
This fall RIA will offer a three-pronged approach to educating
students, health care and mental health workers, and college
administrators about the dangers, new trends and treatments for
reducing substance use and excessive drinking in college kids.
RIA Director, Kenneth Leonard, PhD "Despite strong efforts,
excessive alcohol and substance use among college students have not
substantially diminished in the past decade. While many colleges
have educational programs or referral services, many college
administrators are not aware of or have not implemented services
that have been shown to be the most effective.
"Therefore, there is a pressing need for a more active and
ongoing dialogue among researchers, practitioners and
administrators regarding the current state of knowledge about
college student drinking and substance use—a dialog that will
also benefit parents and their children in college."
First, the RIA is releasing the fifth in its series of expert
summaries, "RIA Reaching Others: College Student Drinking," a fact
sheet describing the dangers of college student drinking,
especially binge drinking--the scope of the problem, specific
points for parents and the value of prevention.
The fact sheet is available at the RIA web
Second, as part of RIA's Fall 2012 Seminar Series, Mark Wood,
PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University
of Rhode Island (URI) and an expert on substance use among college
students, will speak on "Individual and Environmental Preventive
Intervention to Reduce Collegiate Alcohol Abuse: A Full-Cycle
His presentation will be at 10 a.m. Oct. 26 in Room 132 of the
RIA building, 1021 Main St. on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
It will be free and open to the public.
For more information on the Wood presentation, visit: the RIA web
Third, RIA is hosting a two-day conference, titled "The
Challenge of Reducing College Student Substance Use: A Conversation
in the Disciplines," to take place Nov. 8 and 9 in the Ramada Hotel
and Conference Center, 2402 North Forest Road near the Audubon
Parkway in Getzville, adjacent to the UB North Campus.
The two-day event will feature alcohol and substance use experts
from UB and from across the state. It is sponsored by the
Conversations in the Disciplines Program of the State University of
The conference will bring together front-line staff from
throughout the SUNY system who grapple with the real problems of
college students' alcohol and substance use and abuse, and the
researchers who seek to develop and evaluate substance-use
prevention and intervention strategies. It also will provide an
opportunity for participants to present information about their
programs and to discuss issues regarding the startup and operation
of effective programs.
Even more importantly, however, the conference will explore the
potential for developing a multi-campus network of researchers and
practitioners across New York State to address excessive college
student substance use.
"This will facilitate the development and evaluation of
innovative and comprehensive approaches to reducing substance use,
and provide a communications network that will enhance the efforts
of practitioners to offer the most effective strategies for their
campuses," Leonard said.
Information about the conference and how to register are
available at the registration