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Alcohol Arrests Up On College Campuses

June 10, 2010, 4:59 PM by Erica Johnson

Alcohol Arrests Up On College Campuses
Alcohol-related arrests are on the rise on Iowa's public universities, and the increase is significant. One alcohol counselor says the problem isn't unique to Iowa and in many cases, it starts before a student goes off to college.

That study conducted by the Iowa Board of Regents finds that alcohol use and those related arrests are up to 42 percent across the board.

The University of Iowa fairs slightly worse; their arrests are up 53 percent and that school also had a 97 percent increase in drunken driving.

Numbers like those have officials concerned about how quickly drinking offenses can turn into lifelong problems.

“It's a really troubling trend.  We want to make sure that these kids are getting a good education and that they are doing the right thing and that they are learning,” Ben Granville with Keystone Treatment Centers said.

What's even more troubling is that drug and alcohol counselors are seeing more patients who aren't even old enough for college.

Granville says in his years of experience working to treat alcohol addictions, the earlier a person starts drinking, the more likely they are to develop alcoholism. When drinking consumes a student's life, arrests often start piling up.

“We know a lot of college students get involved in assaults, fights. They get involved with DUIs, unwanted contact with the police for a variety of different reasons,” Granville said.

College kids getting their hand on alcohol isn't in short supply.  That's why Granville says it's important that parents continue to be responsible and take part in their children's lives.

“If your child goes off to college, it doesn't absolve you of the responsibility to still be a parent, following, giving them frequent phone calls trying to figure out what they are doing is important,” Granville said.

Granville says if you suspect your college student is drinking or has a drinking problem, most universities have counselors on site that can help. Treatment centers, like Keystone, are also options.

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