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MorningEdition_20081023_UVASocialNormingAlcohol - Your...

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Your Health University Uses 'Social Norming' To Curb Drinking by Brenda Wilson Doualy Xaykaothao/NPR Students enjoy music and food at UVA's fifth annual HooFest, an alcohol-free event to promote safe socializing. Doualy Xaykaothao/NPR Dr. James Turner is director of the Elson Student Health Center at UVA. He says he doesn't endorse underage drinking, but he believes you can educate young people to drink responsibly. Doualy Xaykaothao/NPR Students at this alcohol-free event had the option to play a game — when asked, participants tended to underestimate how many beers fit into these red plastic cups.
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Morning Edition , October 23, 2008 · At colleges across the United States, the number of alcohol-related deaths is on the rise. But at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, no student has died from intoxication or an accident linked to drinking since 1998. What's UVA's secret? It's called "social norming," and it relies on peer counseling, social events and solid information to challenge misperceptions students have about drinking. Robert Waynefield, now a UVA graduate student, says that when he first arrived on campus at age 18, he figured he had to drink if he wanted to fit in, even though the legal drinking age is 21. "It's just something you are constantly presented with in all of your group of friends," says Waynefield. "You may be lucky enough to find a group of people that don't drink, but you will be like an island amongst the drinkers if you're the only people not drinking." Like most colleges, UVA bans alcohol on campus and in the dorms, but Dr. Jim Turner, director of student health, says it's virtually impossible to keep alcohol away from underage students.
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  • Spring '10
  • BrianHawkins
  • Drinking culture, blood alcohol content, Alcohol law, National Minimum Drinking Age Act, Fraternal and service organizations

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