State commits $2.5M to combat underage drinking on campuses - Metro US

State commits $2.5M to combat underage drinking on campuses

Two girls, drinking pints of lager, dancing and smiling, UK 2004 (Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Alcohol is still the most abused drug on college campuses nationwide, so New York State is allocating $2.5 million to combat underage drinking at SUNY and CUNY schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The money will be used by 20 campuses to help them develop coalitions to work on strategies to prevent underage drinking.

“This funding will build on our progress to prevent senseless tragedies and equip students with vital knowledge to curb underage and binge drinking, and provide critical services to those at risk for addiction,” Cuomo said in a news release.

“Time after time, we have seen the reckless behavior, and bad decisions with often life-altering consequences that come with underage drinking.”

Each college will receive $125,000 annually for five years.

Underage drinking and drug use can lead to such problems as overdoses, drunken driving, fights, sexual assaults and academic failure, state officials note.

“These grants will help bolster CUNY’s ongoing efforts to keep our students safe and informed about the dangers of alcohol and drugs in college social settings and off-campus, and educate them about treatment and other services,” CUNY Chancellor James Milliken said in a news release.

More than 80 percent of college students drink alcohol and almost half say they recently experienced binge drinking, according to research conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

As part of the effort to combat underage drinking, the state Department of Motor Vehicles has seized 147 fake driver’s licenses and fake IDs since September, according to the governor’s office.

Cuomo pointed out that the programs associated with preventing underage drinking and drug abuse compliment the state’s commitment to resolving the problem of sexual assault on campuses.

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