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Thursday, September 30, 2010

JMU's research on student alcohol and drug use 2008-"..Progress towards long-term goals is not being made"

JMU published it's own research in 2008 titled "Alcohol and Drug Use Among James Madison University Students" by Laurie Gabriele, research assistant, The Office of Substance Abuse Research, JMU.(available at the JMU web site)
 Key Findings:
  • Of the students reporting, 83.3% report that they have used alcohol in the past 30 days. This percentage has steadily increased through the years with the 2008 population reporting 83.3%, which is the highest 30-day prevalence since data has been collected at JMU and well above the 2008 national reference group (71.9%)
  • Students report they consume 8.0 drinks per week. The national average is 5.5.
  • 62.2% of the studens reported having "binged" (having five or more drinks in one sitting) in the last two weeks.  The national average is 46.7%
  • Since the early 1990's various university alcohol prevention task forces have attempted to re-shape the campus culture and correct student misperceptions to reduce alcohol related problems on our campus
  • 50.5% of the students reported some form of public misconduct.  Examples include being arrested for DWI/DUI, trouble with police or college authority, or driving while under the influence at least once during the past year as a result of drinking or drug use.
  • 39.1% of the students reported that they, at least once during the past year, as a result of drinking or drug use, experienced some kind of serious personal problems including the following experiences:
    • Suicide thoughts, suicide attempts, becoming hurt or injured, trying unsuccessfully to stop using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, being taken advantage of sexually and performing poorly on a test or important university project and less serious and more common-place problems such as memory loss, nausea or vomiting and hangovers
  • Students identified the following ways in which other studens' alcohol consumption negatively affects their academic, social or other aspects associated with the quality of life on campus:
    • interrupts studying
    • makes you feel unsafe
    • messes up physical living space
    • adversely affects athletic team/other groups
    • prevents you from enjoying events
    • interferes in other ways
  • Prior to their arrival on campus, 38.3% of students feel that JMU tolerates drinking but tries to keep students from becoming drunk and disorderly.
  • The majority of students (48.9%) report that their best sexual experience did not involve drinking alcohol
  • The majority of students (56.8%) report that they prefer a non-alcoholic activity on a normal Friday or Saturday night
  • Consistent programming that makes an impact on the campus culture is imperative to reverse the negative trends seen at JMU
"Sporadic programs with short-term results are occurring, but progress towards long-term goals is not being made."

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