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Steady drop in alcohol cases at Dartmouth, study finds

HANOVER — For the third consecutive year, incidents involving Dartmouth College students with dangerously high blood alcohol content fell during the fall term because of student-led initiatives, the Dartmouth College Health Improvement Project said Tuesday.

In the fall of 2012, the Greek Leadership Council led an effort to limit first-year students’ access to parties at Greek houses where alcohol was present.

This fall incidents of extreme alcohol intoxication involving students with a blood alcohol content above .25 fell by more than 60 percent, Dartmouth College said Tuesday.

The Greek Leadership Council is the governing body overseeing all Greek letter organizations.

“The steady drop in high blood-alcohol cases is encouraging, but we know there is more work to be done,” Aurora Matzkin, director of the college’s health promotions, said in the announcement. “The decision by the GLC to implement this initiative is exactly the kind of student-led action that can produce real campus change. We look forward to continuing to support student groups committed to promoting a safe and healthy campus environment.”

The number of cases with blood alcohol contents above .25 this past fall was seven, down from 19 in 2012, 31 in 2011 and 36 in 2010, according to DCHIP.

A blood alcohol content of .25 is more than three times the legal limit in the state of New Hampshire.

Over the past three years, the campus also experienced a drop in medical encounters for intoxication. That figure fell 32 percent from 120 in the fall of 2010 to 82 in the fall of 2013.

The Dartmouth College Health Improvement Project was created in 2011 as a multi-disciplinary team of staff, students and faculty who are dedicated to reducing the harms associated with high-risk drinking.

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