College Drug Abuse

UNDATED (AP) -- Substance abuse on college campuses is becoming more extreme and dangerous according to a comprehensive new report.

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University says the number of students who binge drink frequently has increased substantially.

And hundreds of thousands more students are abusing prescription drugs.

Analyzing outside survey data, the center calculates nearly a-quarter of college students meet the medical criteria for substance abuse or dependence. That's about three times higher than the proportion in the general population.

The authors of the report are calling on educators to take a more aggressive approach to fighting abuse. One suggestion: no ads for alcohol in the N-C-A-A men's basketball tournament.

But they also say the problem is more a part of an overall culture of excessive consumption than a rite of passage for young people.