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College Drinking: Consumption and Harm

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Alcohol's cost is much more than the price paid for a drink at the corner market or neighborhood bar.

In California in July 2008 a large gathering of public health experts, policymakers, and community activitists ticked away in real time the incredible economic costs ($1,200 per second) incidents of harm (100 per hour) and deaths (1 per hour) associated with alcohol consumption in California. Alcohol costs California $38 billion annually, far outpacing the costs of natural disasters like earthquakes, fires, and mud slides in California. And unlike natural disasters, which come along infrequently, the catastrophe of alcohol in California happens annually, with devastating effects, and can be prevented.

The cost is substantial, especially the cost of underage drinking. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Institute of Medicine's landmark report to Congress in September 2003, "Reducing Underage Drinking: a Collective Responsibility" found that underage alcohol use costs the nation an estimated $53 billion annually. The costs include:


PartySafe@Cal is a program of University Health Services in collaboration with other campus and community organizations.
The mission is to reduce harm associated with drinking in the campus area.
To volunteer or for more information call 510-642-7202 or email