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Castleton to host state symposium on high-risk drinking on campuses

Vermont Health Department convenes symposium Oct. 9

Vermont's Health Department is bringing together expertise from five colleges and the University of Vermont for a symposium on high-risk drinking on campus. The symposium will be held Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Castleton State College from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Alcohol Addiction Blog.com)

Vermont's Health Department is bringing together expertise from five colleges and the University of Vermont for a symposium on high-risk drinking on campus. The symposium will be held Wednesday, Oct. 9, at Castleton State College from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Alcohol Addiction Blog.com)

— The State of Vermont's Health Department is bringing together expertise from five colleges and the University of Vermont for a symposium on high-risk drinking on campus.

The symposium, for campus leaders, substance abuse workers, community partners and student leaders, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 9 at Castleton State College from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The day will feature discussions on screening, prevention, treatment and recovery, and the importance of getting parents involved.

“Our aim is to take a close look at programs that are working on one campus that may be replicated at others,” said Health Commissioner Harry Chen, MD, who will give the opening remarks. “We’ve learned, for example, that keeping parents involved with their students can be most effective in preventing high-risk drinking.”

Recent research has shown that continued parental monitoring of college students significantly reduces alcohol consumption. Students’ perceptions of their parents’ awareness and concern also moderates the amount and frequency of drinking for college freshman.

More than half (54 percent) of students at colleges in the state report having had five or more drinks at a time during the past two weeks, compared to the national average (44 percent). Nationally, nearly one-quarter of college students report negative academic consequences as a result of their drinking: missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and getting lower grades.

Johnson State College and the University of Vermont will lead a session on parental engagement. Sessions on other effective campus programs will be led by St. Michael’s, Marlboro, Middlebury, Johnson State and Castleton State Colleges.

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