DHHS, NIH News  
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

NIAAA Press Office

North Carolina First Lady to Host Presidents at College Drinking Summit
NIAAA Task Force Report To Be Featured

North Carolina First Lady Mary P. Easley will host presidents, chancellors, and legal counsels from more than 40 campuses at the North Carolina Presidents’ Summit on Alcohol Use and Abuse, to be held Wednesday, September 24, at the executive mansion in Raleigh. The Summit will highlight research findings and recommendations of A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges*, a 2002 report published by NIAAA that documents the extent of college drinking-related problems and offers evidence-based recommendations to address them. NIAAA, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, the Governor’s Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Inc., and Wake Forest University, are Summit sponsors.

"As a college professor, lawyer, and the mother of an 18-year-old who entered college this fall, I am concerned about alcohol’s devastating effects on our college students, whether they choose to drink or not," said Mrs. Easley’s invitation to the Summit. "I look forward to working with you on this important issue." Mrs. Easley will call for the presidents and chancellors to sign a "Statement of Commitment" to address high-risk drinking in North Carolina and encourage the collaboration of campus and community partners to create safe and healthy environments for their students.

According to NIAAA-supported research, more than one-fourth of college students aged 18-24 drive under the influence of alcohol and drinking among college students contributes to an estimated 1,400 student deaths, 500,000 injuries, and 70,000 cases of sexual assault or date rape each year. College drinking also contributes to health and academic problems and is a major factor in damage to institutional property.

The 2002 report, prepared by a task force of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and published by NIAAA, highlights prevention strategies that target the student population, the college and its community environment, and the individual at-risk or alcohol dependent drinker. It ranks the strategies on the basis of the scientific evidence available to support or refute their effectiveness and calls for additional research to address knowledge gaps and for "imparting what is known about the patterns of college drinking and current interventions to encourage college presidents, administrators, and other[s] . . . to adopt policies and implement strategies based on research."

"North Carolina is a leader in research on underage drinking and in implementing research-based solutions to college drinking problems," according to NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li, M.D. "Mrs. Easley participates actively in the Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol-Free, NIAAA’s initiative to prevent drinking by children aged 9-15 years, and the state-sponsored Campus-Community Coalition Grant program incorporates evidence-based strategies to prevent college drinking. North Carolina’s commitment to science-based solutions makes it the logical site for a ‘full court press’ to alter the culture of college drinking on a broad scale."

Summit presenters include William DeJong, Ph.D., Director of the Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, who will discuss the scope of college drinking problems and the NIAAA task force recommendations, and NIAAA Deputy Director Faye Calhoun, D.P.A., who will discuss new directions in college drinking research. Stetson University Professor of Law Peter Lake, J.D., will give the luncheon address entitled "Higher Education and the Law: The Legal Dimensions of the NIAAA Task Force Report on College Drinking."

At 12:30 PM, Dr. Calhoun and Wake Forest University President Thomas K. Hearn, Jr., will join Mrs. Easley in the garden of the executive mansion to invite college presidents and chancellors to sign the Statement of Commitment. Members of the press and photographers are welcome to attend this public ceremony.

The September 24 Presidents’ Summit will be followed October 7-8 by the NIAAA Collegiate Alcohol Prevention Workshop, to be held at Wake Forest University. More information on this 2-day event is available at the Governor’s Institute on Alcohol & Substance Abuse, Inc. (telephone 919-990-9559.)

For interviews with Dr. Calhoun, please contact the NIAAA Press Office. Interviews with other presenters may be scheduled by calling Ms. Ferris Morrison at 919-990-9559, extension 228.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, conducts and supports approximately 90 percent of U.S. research on the causes, consequences, prevention, and treatment of alcohol abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol problems and disseminates research findings to science, practitioner, policy making, and general audiences. For additional information on alcohol research, please visit www.niaaa.nih.gov.

*Available at www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov.

NIH logo   Home > News & Events
Subscribe to receive future NIH and HHS press releases