Last Updated: Nov 13th, 2011 - 15:16:21
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| OCTOBER 19-25 Is National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week
By Center for Social Norms Resource
Oct 20, 2003, 08:57 PST
More than 1,000 colleges and universities across the country will observe National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week. With the school year underway, fraternity and sorority rush seasons are just reaching their stride - making now the ideal time to address the problem of excessive campus drinking. In the past, schools have tried many different ways to deal with the issue; now, experts believe much hope lies in 'Social Norms' - a method that takes a positive approach.
Oftentimes, college kids are portrayed as debaucherous and out-of-control drinkers. But research shows that most of them drink only moderately, if at all. They rarely harm one another and alcohol-related injuries are quite infrequent. Experts believe that by spreading this information to kids across the country, they'll drive home the message that the 'norm' is one of safety, responsibility and moderation. When students learn about the true norm, they begin to adhere to it more and more. As a result, the actual norm becomes even more moderate as the initial misperception of excessive substance abuse among the student population becomes reversed.
Instead of using scare tactics, the social norms method encourages students to act on their own positive behaviors. The approach is currently being used at almost 135 colleges and universities nationwide with great success. On average, schools that use the approach achieve a 20 percent reduction in high-risk drinking in only two years.
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