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Alcohol-related hospital trips double at U-Md.

Jenna Johnson

The semester has only just begun at the University of Maryland, College Park, but already 19 students have been transported to the hospital for alcohol-related reasons, according to The Diamondback student newspaper.

That's more than double the number of transports at this time last year. Police and other officials aren't sure why there has been a spike, although it could be because more students are calling help for friends that need it.

In April 2009, the university created a policy that protects students from "disciplinary sanctions for violating the University's alcohol policy" if they summon help for a friend who has had too much to drink, according to the Diamondback. Students are not, however, protected from police charges.

University and Prince George's County police say they plan to continue to crack down on partying and underage drinking on or near campus. District 1 Commander Robert Liberati told the Diamondback: "When you have teenagers that are drinking so much that they end up in the ER or walking out into the highway or doing something else that's dangerous, obviously we have to act. It's a huge concern for us."

You can read the full Diamondback article, here.

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  September 14, 2010; 11:26 AM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags: University of Maryland  
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Comments

It has nothing to do with people asking their friends for help. I'd bet that every one of these kids were freshman who for the first time don't have to go home to mom's house at night and need to impress their new friends with the amount of beer that they cannot handle.

Posted by: MKadyman | September 14, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The reporter should have mentioned that in all of its 'wisdom' the University of Maryland has slashed the budget for it's health center, which includes the mental health and substance abuse treatment staff. Unless plans change, the health center is supposed to become self supporting in the near future. Guess the health of the students is a real priority,huh?

Posted by: ksowa | September 14, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

A very smart policy by the "university that protects the students from disciplinary action if they help a friend. If the police would set that policy for first time offenders hopefully the freshman will be scared enough if it happens again. An overnight stay behind bars should be a "rude awakening"

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