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St. George conference targets student drinking

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Students, counselors, professors and administrators from Utah colleges and universities this week were to start work on a plan to combat drug and alcohol abuse among college students.

Some 130 officials from the Board of Regents and the state's nine schools were to meet Thursday and Friday at St. George's Dixie College to address the issue."Alcohol-related tragedies involving students are far too prevalent," said Cecelia Foxley, commissioner of Utah's System of Higher Education. "The state of Utah has always been a leader in prevention work, and we cannot afford to lose that momentum at this time."

James E. Copple, executive deputy director for the National Crime Prevention Council, and Joel C. Epstein, senior associate and attorney with the U.S. Department of Education Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention, will speak at the conference.

Nationally, the number of college-aged drinkers has remained the same over the years. But more students are drinking to inebriate, according to a recent study by Harvard University.

Some 52 percent now drink to get drunk, compared to 39 percent in 1993.