Nearly half of college students binge-drink and abuse illegal and prescription drugs, and more than 22 percent of them meet the medical criteria for substance dependence, a new study finds. The result: "In this world of fierce global competition, we are losing thousands of our nation's best and brightest to alcohol and drugs, and in the process robbing them and our nation of their promising futures," according to Joseph Califano, president of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, which sponsored the study.
A Penn State sophomore acknowledges frequent drinking. "If you're not drinking, you're bored," she says. "There's always an excuse to drink." The sophomore studies health policy, the Collegian reports.