Title

Questioning Data on Drinking-Related Student Deaths

January 15, 2015
 

Many journalists regularly quote a statistic that 1,800 students a year die from alcohol-related causes. The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" column looked into the statistic and raised a number of questions. The figure comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but the CDC reports indicate that three-fourths of these deaths are from car accidents in which alcohol may have been a factor. And the estimates on car accidents are in some ways questionable, as the column details. Many other deaths come from fires, falls and drowning -- tragic of course, but not the image many people think they are getting from the statistic (people who drink so much that they die from the alcohol). About 113 people a year between the ages of 15 and 24 die from binge drinking directly, the CDC reports. If about one-third of them are college students, which would reflect national data, that means about 35 college students a year.

 

 
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