Volume 92, Issue 84

Tuesday, March 9, 1999


Concerns amended

Protesters' tour warns of decline

Playboy goes academic

Athletics fee reduction requested to even levels

Study explores reasons for students' alcoholic excess


Click your way to the end of the semester

Caught on campus

Study explores reasons for students' alcoholic excess

By Stephanie Cesca
Gazette Staff

Results of a nationwide study conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health will soon be released, confirming a fact most undergraduate university students already know – they drink a lot.

Louis Gliksman, principle investigator of the survey, explained the latest survey is the third of its kind, with the others conducted in 1988 and 1993.

While the first two surveys included a limited number of university participants, this one includes 18 universities across Canada, Gliksman said. "What we're looking at is trends over time," he said.

Gliksman would not disclose information regarding the results of specific universities or indicate which ones were part of the survey. "Unless the university has indicated to the source that they want to be part of the study, then I can't say if they were a part of it or not," he said.

Queen's University, however, was one of the six participants in 1993 and also volunteered to be included in this year's survey in order to help find ways to remedy the amount of drinking of university students, said Diane Nolting, health educator at Queen's.

"Binge-drinking definitely is the pattern," she said.

Nolting explained the results of the 1993 survey demonstrated how excessive drinking is mostly prominent in first-year students, tapering off by fourth year. She added the trends show that men generally drink more than women.

"One of the questions was why they were drinking. Fourteen per cent of women and five per cent of men said it was to deal with tension," Nolting explained. She added 96 per cent of current students are drinkers.

Eric Single, director of policy and research at the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, said he thought such studies were necessary in order to conquer problems such as alcoholism and impaired driving.

"Impaired driving accidents are the leading cause of deaths for university-aged people," he said.

Although excessive drinking is a trend among students, Gliksman and Nolting both confirmed the fact the problem is not an increasing one.

"With respect to the 1988 and 1993 surveys, there were no real changes or significant problems," Gliksman said.

Michael Blatchford, a third-year English and film student at Western, stated his position on drinking. "I'll drink all night if I can, as long as there's enough cash flow," he said. "When the money is a-coming, so are the late nights and the hangovers."

When asked what predictions could be made from this latest survey, Gliksman said the results were inconclusive.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999