Miami: Surge in drinking hospitalizations reflects student reporting

Recent reports of a surge of young adults — many suspected of being Miami University students — hospitalized last weekend due to binge drinking, may not reflect an increase in alcohol abuse on campus, school officials said.

MORE: Miami officials troubled by spike in alcohol-related hospitalizations

And while leaders at the Butler County university are deeply concerned — since the reports come in the wake of a freshman student’s recent and apparent death in a dorm room due to alcohol — they say the upsurge may actually reflect greater efforts by students looking out for the safety of classmates.

Miami officials told this news outlet that an increase in students reporting other students could explain last weekend’s jump in alcohol-related hospitalizations.

Moreover they contend the higher numbers are evidence the university’s student reporting program — where students are encouraged to tell authorities about alcohol and drug abuse by their classmates — is working.

MORE: Alcohol suspected in Miami student’s death in dorm

“Last weekend’s spate of alcohol-related hospital visits showed two sides of student behavior: Some students made poor decisions to drink to unsafe levels, but other students exercised care and good judgment in calling for medical help for their friends,” said Miami University Spokeswoman Claire Wagner.

Wagner and other Miami officials cited the school’s many alcohol abuse awareness education programs — including a “Good Samaritan” policy that allows students who themselves may be impaired to report other students they believe are in danger. Students reporting on classmates can do so without suffering administrative repercussions or punishment for their intoxication.

MORE: Police conduct college drinking raid

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Some information sources for Miami University students and their parents regarding the school’s efforts to prevent alcohol abuse:

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